Interpol came to The Anthem in DC recently to turn on the bright lights!
The trio have a new album, The Other Side of Make-Believe, due in July, but you wouldn’t have known it for all of the love lavished on the band’s 2002 debut record. But that made sense when you consider it’s given us 20 years of frontman Paul Banks and company!
And speaking of the bright lights at The Anthem on May 10 — wow! Interpol came prepared with a fantastic lightshow that helped make each song something special, beginning with the opening number “Untitled.” The stark and haunting opening notes of the number hit our ears through darkness, but once the song opened up, the lights did too. The first track from Turn on The Bright Lights always makes for a compelling listen, and it grabbed listeners at The Anthem promptly as the lights came up on the band. Blues lights shifted until a single white spotlight hit Paul Banks at the front of the stage, illuminating him from above.
Watch Interpol perform “Untitled” live for The Paris Ghost Session by ARTE Concert in France in 2018 via YouTube:
Interpol presented five songs from Turn on The Bright Lights, but they also gave plenty of room to much-beloved sophomore album Antics, playing “Evil” immediately after “Untitled” on May 10 and adding three other songs from the record. During “Evil,’ the lights flashed red and then strobed in time with the music. Paul’s voice also hit all of the marks, skipping along or pleading at spots that pressed the right emotional buttons, all the while carrying our world-weary yet still romantic spirits along with it.
The Other Side of Make-Believe, the pending seventh studio album, received some play with an eventual four selections scattered mostly in the first half of the show. At the show’s one-third mark, Paul introduced “Toni,” the lead single from the upcoming record. An array of light beams illuminated drummer Sam Fogarino as he set the beat for the relatively hushed ballet. We must add that guitarist Daniel Kessler was as dapper as ever clad in a whole black suit that augmented the mystique of the flashing lights around him. He seemed almost to be entering our plane from a much cooler dimension as his wiry figure struck a pose in front of the killer lights.
Watch the official music video for “Toni” by Interpol on YouTube:
Interpol closed the main set with kiss-off stunner “The Heinrich Maneuver,” introducing the anti-love song to the tour setlist for the first time in a perfect wrap. The song’s new wavey bouncy and easy singalong verses injected a rush into the end of the show, and it struck the bustling venue with giddiness.
That giddiness peaked with an encore that returned the focus to Interpol’s first and second albums with “Leif Erickson” and “Slow Hands” — two highly anticipated entries in the Interpol catalog. As the lights went down, the crowd happily streamed out the doors and into the night to end a very cool and memorable show.
Here are some photos of Interpol performing at 9:30 Club on May 10, 2022. All photos copyright and courtesy of Casey Vock.