7/31/07

InterpolGods

If Keven and I had experienced marrital trouble of any significance over the past three years, Interpol would have seen us through--if only by drowning out one another with tunes we both adore. We've seem live in February 2005 at Bogart's in Cincinnati--a fantastic show--and in August 2004 at the Curiosa Festival where they opened for The Cure and first caught our attention. Such devotion to the same band at the same time is otherwise unheard of for us.

We have not been to a rock concert since the show at Bogart's. Pathetic! We dropped the girls off at Jenn's house and headed into Milwaukee. Most of I-94 is under construction in the downtown, which makes navigating the side streets a bit daunting, but we arrived in time to grab a burger. Keven really hates mayonnaise and the people who put it on his chicken.

As with most clubs, The Rave is situated between a shady urban area and a university, in this case, Marquette. The building is huge, well renovated, and proved a solid venue. I'm glad to know the place is one we can return to for future shows.

Keven and I are firm believers in restricting liquid intake at a gig. There's nothing more annoying than people who leave a general admission floor to buy a beer or take a piss... and expect to return to their same spot. So I had half a club soda, and we both became dehydrated. We also wound up in Spliff Corner, where the only people lighting up where smoking Da Grass. Years ago it would have been a hangover; this time around, I had a headache from lack of water and pot smoke.

The opening act, Calla, is apparently trying to revive shoegazing, but with an angsty frontman. We like them quite a bit and will seek out more of their music. Seeing as how we discovered Blonde Redhead when they opened at the Bogart's show, Keven will likely seek out every act that has opened for Interpol.

After an intermission that lasted nothing short of two years, they finally took the stage. They've added a full-time touring keyboard player who looks like Alan Cumming. Carlos has let his hair grow little longer and more natural, which means he has a curlypoofy head to contrast with his mostly ridiculous facial hair. Behind the drum kit, Sam was doing his best Frank Sinatra impression, and Danny wore his customary suit. Cocaine has done amazing things to Paul's physique, all stringy and muscled. I wanted to nibble him. Just a little. Fancying any one of them too much would be like volunteering for lobotomy; most of their appeal is based on a keen sense of sexual mindf**k mojo.

They opened with "Pioneer to the Falls," followed by "Slow Hands," "Narc," and "Obstacle 1," which meant I was a bouncy, sweaty, shouty mess at about fifteen minutes in. "Obstacle 1" is fantastic live, with Danny doing his conveyor belt Snoopy dance thing across the stage. I don't know how his feet move that way, especially while playing guitar.

Other songs from the new album included "Mammoth," "The Scale," "Rest My Chemistry," and "The Heinrich Maneuver." "The Scale" is actually an amazing song made better by a live performance, but "The Heinrich Maneuver" lacked pizazz. Maybe it was because, by that time, it was 150° and everyone was running out of steam--or turning into steam.

About the time "Evil" and "Not Even Jail" showed up, I despaired of hearing "Pace Is the Trick." I tried not to let it dampen my enjoyment, but that was the night's only disappointment. "Say Hello to the Angels" is absolutely mental live, and I think I gave myself whiplash. "Hands Away" was a gorgeous, moody surprise, made ironic by Paul's guitar: he had stenciled BREASTS across it.

The encore was a nod to oldies. "Leif Erikson" is probably the closest Keven and I come to agreeing on a favorite, so we shared a very sweaty embrace and a heart-shattering bass drum. "Stella" riled up the crowd and "PDA" brought it home, featuring the only time all night I saw Paul smile. He'd just finished singing, turned the vocals over to Danny, took a swig of Red Bull, and lit a cigarette--probably his two tamest vices.

We escaped Milwaukee without incident. The girls behaved well for Jenn, and we arrived home to Kenosha around midnight. Whem Keven woke up this morning, his ears are still ringing. Old man! But I had a blast. Truly fantastic concerts are mesmerizing. I never lose myself quite so thoroughly anywhere else.

You come here to me--
We’ll collect those lonely parts and set them down.
"Leif Erikson" by Interpol

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