Interpol released a new album last year — Marauder, the band’s sixth studio record — and an EP, A Fine Mess, recently in the spring, but you wouldn’t have known that catching Paul Banks and company in action opening for Morrissey at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Thursday.
The well-dressed post-punks turned back the clock and unleashed a short set of very good Interpol classics that had the exact effect of amping the big crowd up for Moz.
Early in the set, Interpol performed uptempo “The Heinrich Maneuver,” which sounded great. The audience was thrilled to hear the new wavish kiss-off song, and folks along the barrier up front began dancing and singing along.
The star of the show among Interpol records however was debut album Turn on the Bright Lights as Interpol reached back to 2002 to start the show with “Untitled,” then played “NYC” in the middle, and closed the set with “Obstacle 1.” A corporeal thrill fired through the audience at the opening of “Obstacle 1,” and a very satisfied crowd chanted along in unison.
Stream Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol on Spotify:
Other highlights from the Interpol set included “Evil” and “Slow Hands” from sophomore album Antics. Nominally, “Evil” is a song in search of forgiveness or at least acquiescence, but Paul sang it “fast and loud and mean,” as a friend said, giving it a slight air of menace that lends itself well to Interpol’s more physical numbers. On the other hand, “Slow Hands,” while full of loud guitars, was soft and remorseful, hitting all of the right notes.
The members of Interpol — Paul, guitarist Daniel Kessler, and drummer Sam Fogarino — were bright, engaged, and alert. The gents didn’t treat their short set as an opening act. They went for the throat, grabbed hold, and didn’t let go — although they served the job of opening act quite perfectly in leaving the audience wanting more.
It is a triumph for Morrissey that he enlisted Interpol for this tour, and the band made the whole show so much more worthwhile as a whole. Show up early for Interpol! (We know you want the details on Main Man Moz, and they are forthcoming in a separate post — stay tuned!)
Here are some photos of Interpol performing at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sept. 5, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Jason Nicholson.