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Review and Photos of Interpol at Royal Oak Music Theatre – 9.16.18

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by Becka Helhowski

As one of the staple bands of the early 2000’s post-punk revival scene alongside The Strokes and The White Stripes, Interpol is still a reigning front runner of garage-rock royalty. Having been in the music scene since 1997, they’ve yet to sway from their signature too-cool-for-school laid back sound.

Interpol’s newest album, Marauder, was released on August 24 of this year. It’s a fresh take for Interpol with its emotionally raw themes while still maintaining the noughties indie sound they trademarked with their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights. The album has been getting mixed reviews, but I think every album they release is slightly better than the last (with the exception of the aforementioned debut, that album is untouchable).

They came through town and I was sure to see them at Royal Oak Music Theatre on Sunday night. Let’s make it known right here: Interpol sounds exactly the same live as they do on their albums. Paul Banks (Bloomfield Hills native) has such an ageless and hypnotic voice. The show took me back to being fifteen years old, lying on my floor, staring up at the ceiling, blasting the song “NYC” convinced that a senior boy not returning my texts was the end of the world. Angst, what an ageless concept.

Interpol

Interpol played mostly songs from Marauder, with sprinkles of hits from past albums with no disappointment. Admittedly, I’m was a little bummed they didn’t bless us with a performance of “PDA”. But, ending the night with “Obstacle 1,” made me realize that we as humans can only be so blessed. Nostalgia aside, the set list was as close to perfect as it could have been. Mixing from the upbeat tracks you can bounce to like the Joy Division inspired “Evil”. Then an unforgettable guitar solo by Daniel Kessler for my favorite song, “Rest my Chemistry,” that had me feeling like I was at church rather than a concert.

They were amazing to hear live, and the lighting was beautiful and entrancing. But, the highlight for me was seeing Paul look genuinely happy and touched at the end of each song, knowing that people were having so much fun at his show. It was amazing to see a crowd full of diverse people from all age groups smiling, sweating, and laughing.

As a huge Interpol fan, seeing them live was something I’ve waited for since I was 12, and being 23 now, it was well worth the eleven year wait. I definitely will be seeing them again and again until I hear “PDA” live though.

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