Interpol in Montreal, Oct. 12, 2004

interpol live3 The Metropolis is packed. This show has been oversold, the dance floor pulsing with twenty to thirty-somethings spread thick from the stage to the back of the theatre. Up on the balcony the seats are not only full, but the stairways are crammed. There is a queue of over-lubricated males streaming from the men’s bathroom. There are men in the women’s washroom, pissing all over the toilet seats. We are waiting for Interpol.

The tech-guys are sauntering on and off the stage, one at a time and only setting up one instrument at a time. A security guard, dressed in an Interpol-standard black outfit, steps on the stage rousing a false, trumpeting start from the crowd. Everyone settles back into their seats or shuffles their feet. The frat-boys adjust their ties, the scenester couples adjust their matching hairdos and the rock-geeks adjust their Interpol t-shirts. There is another round of overpriced drinks swilled. The No Smoking rule is abandoned. We are still waiting for Interpol.

Just as the anticipatory energy threatens to flag, Interpol rush the stage and into their first song, “Next Exit”. The crowd goes wild–and I do mean wild. The synth hums organ and there is an immediate, trembling sing-along: “We ain’t going to the town, we’re going to the city.” The throng shout, tap plastic cups and exchange high-fives. Interpol careens into “Obstacle 1”, with Paul Bank’s and Daniel Kessler’s matching guitar riffs calling to one another as drummer Samuel Fogarino and bassist Carlos Dengler flood and throttle the theatre. The next song is “Evil,” off the stellar 2004 release “Antics.” The audience skips ahead of Banks to sing the first line. Each song is greeted with a trill of surprise and each song is a sing-along. Every bit of silence (even mid-song) is filled with cheering.

It occurs to me: this is what happens when you bring sad-bastard bedroom-music to a thousand fans. There is an immediate, communal vibe that emanates from the crowd. It runs at a higher tempo than the music. Maybe there is something to Interpol having their stage-lights set so that they illuminate the crowd more than they do the band.

A balloon is bumped from person to person on the dance-floor during “Hands Away,” and I start filling my notes with cheesy adjectives: intense, intimate, fraternal. The scenster couples inch in close, the frat-boys throw arms over each other’s shoulders and the rock-geeks close their eyes and rock out. Thanks to my brother Tony for the photos.

Setlist:
Next Exit
Obstacle 1
Evil
Say Hello To The Angels
NARC
Not Even Jail
Hands Away
New York Kids
Slow Hands
C’mere
PDA
Encore:
Leif Erikson
Roland
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

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