Gig reviews

Interpol (live in Dublin)

Dec 11

Written by:
Tuesday, December 11, 2007  RssIcon

Interpol (live in The RDS, Dublin)

Interpol LiveReview Snapshot: There are certain ingredients that, when combined in appropriate quantities, make the gig going experience more enjoyable. Personally, I find the best gigs combine a good helping of cold beer, a sprinkling of atmosphere and a bucketful of songs, all mixed together in a decent venue. It's a pity then that Interpol only got two of the four right tonight, and they weren't even serving the beer.

The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10

Full Review:
For weeks there has been a little voice inside my head telling me not to go to Interpol tonight. As is often the recommended course of action, I ignored it. I also ignored the fact that the gig was taking place in the RDS a venue that, despite attending more gigs than my otologist would deem safe, I had yet to attend. You see, the Royal Dublin Society and I have history.

 Those of you who’ve left school or college recently will be more than familiar with the RDS as the designated venue for a succession of dull employment and further education seminars. I used to hate these days with a passion matched only by my love of Athletic Bilbao and music.  However, it appeared that I was destined to be dragged along by one Career Guidance Councillor after another. ‘What would you like to do after college?’ they’d ask. No matter my reply, from ‘I’d like to herd lama’s in the Peru’ to ‘I want to spend my working day writing for CLUAS', said Councillor would say ‘Oh, great, well there’s the perfect seminar on in the RDS this weekend, I’ll bring you.’

 And that’s what the RDS is; a seminar venue. It has all the charm of a mugger and all the subtIety of Las Vegas.  It’s not appropriate as a music venue and it’s not an appropriate setting for seeing your favourite band. Up until tonight that’s exactly what Interpol were, but after a lack lustre performance I’m no longer sure. The songs were tight and the sound was excellent, but if I wanted to hear Interpol play the songs exactly as I'd heard them on my MP3 on the way in, I’d have stayed on the bus.

 A set that started so promisingly with Pioneer to The Falls and Obstacle 1 just failed to ignite. Anytime momentum built, such as when crowd favourites Evil and The Heinrich Maneuver were played back to back, Paul Banks and Co. would conspire to pull back and play a slower track. It was almost as if they were afraid of bringing the roof down, as Kings of Leon managed earlier this week.  Banks looked as if he'd been dragged along to one of the aforementioned seminars and seemed more intent on racing through the set-list – 15 songs in one hour – than building up a rapport with the audience. Cool, disinterested stares are all well and good for the front of Rolling Stone, but when hundreds of punters have paid close to €50 to see you the least they can expect back is an acknowledgement of their presence.

Despite all of this, the performance of each individual song cannot be faulted; Slow Hands and No I in Threesome being particular highlights. But, as those of you who attend more than one gig a year know, it takes more than just good songs to make a good gig. Great gigs, the ones that leave you grinning like an idiot when you think about them weeks, months, even years later, leave you covered in sweat, down on your knees and begging for more.  Tonight, Interpol showed up and delivered a performance that was as forgettable as that other thing, you know the one, with the hair, no?

Overall, as my Guidance Councillor said far too often, ‘Must try harder.’

There are certain ingredients that, when combined in appropriate quantities, make the gig going experience more enjoyable. Personally, I find the best gigs combine a good helping of cold beer, a sprinkling of atmosphere and a bucketful of songs, all mixed together in a decent venue. It’s a pity then that Interpol only got two of the four right tonight, and they weren’t even serving the beer.

Steven O'Rourke


10 comment(s) so far...

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

Absolutely agree 100%. i really enjoyed the first band on, i thought if Interpol could have had half of the energy that 'friendly fire' had, it would have made a huge difference.
But apart from the guitarist they were boring to watch.

By Brian on   Monday, December 03, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

some gigs are meant to be different

By Nigel Lane on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

I agree also, reluctantly. I had been looking forward to the gig so much that I hate admitting it felt flat. It was record quality sound-wise, but the lack of charisma or charm was marked. NO crowd interaction - it did seem like Paul B. wanted to be anywhere else. I saw Ryan Adams last Wednesday and THAT was a gig to remember - spontoneity / banter / charm all along with a tight sound. I left the gig looking forward to getting home - not wishing they had played all night like I had been after R. Adams...

By Ian, Maynooth on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

the gig was amazing, you are just a loser.
get a life

By Antonio on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

A very disappointing review, in my opinion. I think that had the author maybe left their grievance with the RDS at home, or better yet stayed there with it and let a less unwilling soul join the party it would have been better a much more enjoyable affair for all involved.
I thought it was a great gig. Interpol have never been about crowd interaction. I like their music and not their stage presence. The 2 highlights (how the were not mentioned previously eludes me) were the awesome renditions of Not Even Jail and PDA.

By Mark McElligott on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

A couple of things:

Are you an Interpol fan? I'm not being smart, its just that if you liked their music I cant fathom such a lame review

First of all Interpol shouldn’t be confused with Queen or The Darkness. They always stand there and they play, its broody, its dark and that alone creates an atmosphere even before the music starts - the atmosphere that was apparently lacking for you. If you want cart wheels maybe the Scissors Sisters might be more appropriate :)

The music was flawless, the performance incredibly proficient and the sound excellent but you seem to gloss over this like its a drawback or something! The musicianship was astoundingly slick, in particular his voice sounded unbelievable.

Regarding the venue, the lights go out and you're left with a stage, music and the people beside you. I didn’t think it made a huge difference but I agree it is as basic as one can get and the usual problems with queuing for loos etc. As usual punter welfare not high on the list.

It just dissappoints me to see a reviewer with the power to affect readers' impressions who weren't there so negatively because I feel this review is tainted by your personal issues about what a gig should be and what you expect from a band etc rather than a genuine subjective appraisal. But thats music reviews all over really and I guess it wouldnt be any fun if it wasn't subjective.

Friendly Fires were great as well.

By Gareth on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

Did you honestly expect them to be anything other than their efficient yet 'uncomfortable with the limelight' selves on stage? If they were your favourite band you'd know what their like by now

If you wanted crowd participation, orgasmic faces during guitar solos, fireworks and theatrics then i suggest you get a Bon Jovi ticket!

They played really well together, the sound was great for such a venue and from where i was standing in the pit everyone was dancing about jumping around and enjoying themselves.

By Mark on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

I don't agree. I think the gig was technically incredible, the rhythm section as powerful as ever and Paul's voice sounding of recording calibre. For me I'd gladly sacrifice the urge to mosh for an astounding showcase of their individual contributions to the gig, which I strongly believe this gig delivered

By Niall on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

Have to agree, but I think the venue is to blame. I saw them play the same set in the same cool manner at a different venue in Germany a few weeks back, a venue that had better acoustics, was more compact and didn't have those annoying crowd barriers which only push the punter further away from the stage. And the atmosphere was completely different, there was one.

By K on   Friday, December 07, 2007

Re: Interpol (live in Dublin)

The only bad thing about this gig was the venue... Interpol don't jump around the stage and don't talk to the crowd... In other words they don't make idiots of themselves... Besides, the music doesn't really suit it... Also, I saw them a few weeks previous in Florence at a smaller venue and they were AMAZING... I think 2+ nights in The Olympia would have been the thing to do... My fourth time seeing them this year and probably the third best show, and it was better than Kings Of Leon when the roof fell in... Mind you, it was my third time seeing them and it was probably the best... Interpol are just a better band...

By DirtyJohnC on   Thursday, January 10, 2008

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