Interpol bask in icy vulnerability at the Orpheum Theatre


The minimalist magic of Interpol’s 2002 debut album Turn On The Bright Lights was a brand of melancholy rock that was easy to subscribe to. The icy vulnerability that emanated from singer Paul Banks — coupled with the swirling basslines and rummaging percussion that dominated the record — made Interpol not only a creative force to be reckoned with but also helped to define indie rock of the early 2000s.

From the striking guitar prettiness of “NYC” to the pulsating nature of “PDA,” Turn On The Bright Lights showcased the band’s ability to produce catchy melodies that perfectly compliment Banks’ abstract murmurs and elusive lyricism. He eventually became sturdier in his footing and subsequent projects reflect Interpol’s growth.

Their sixth and most recent album, last month’s Marauder, was a return to form for the New York group. Though it wasn’t as experimental as other records in their discography, it still contains the markings of an Interpol classic: Sam Fogarino’s visceral rhythms, Daniel Kessler’s woeful chords, Paul Banks’ disorienting baritone. And when they performed songs from Marauder this past Tuesday (September 11) at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre, they couldn’t have been better received.


Songs like “The Rover,” “If You Really Love Nothing,” “Number 10” and “Complications” were greeted with the same enthusiasm that welcomed more familiar Interpol standards like “Not Even Jail,” “NYC,” “Roland” and “Slow Hands.” Sporting their trademark black suits, Interpol took their time during each song that they performed — not a single moment Tuesday night felt rushed.

You could feel the tender euphoria of “Public Pervert” as they dusted off the Antics classic; you could feel the suspense build as they unpacked the audible heaviness of “Lights.” After each song, Banks announced their corresponding title and was keen to introduce members of the band. He also smiled from ear to ear because he knew he was in his element; the crowd simply couldn’t get enough of Interpol.

Between unwavering applause, raucous screams, and unsolicited song requests, everyone in attendance was simply excited to be there. And despite departed members and an array of side projects, Interpol’s longevity is a direct reflection of their solid fanbase. As they geared up to perform “Evil” and “Obstacle 1” as their long-awaited final songs of the night, Banks quietly remarked that Boston has always been so good to them — which is something Interpol won’t ever take for granted.


Featured image by Candace McDuffie; follow her on Instagram @cmcduffie1.