Words: Adrianna Hilborn | Photos: Teresa McCullough
After being stranded for 4 days by the massive snow storm that hit Buffalo, New York, last week, Interpol stormed onto the stage at Union Transfer Saturday night. The band had been stuck on their tour bus in 5+ feet of snow since November 18th forcing them to cancel shows in Toronto, Montreal, and Boston. Philadelphia fans were relieved that Saturday night’s show wasn’t cancelled as well.
The opening set from Hundred Waters was an electro-ethereal experience, creating a sound that reminded me of Polica. Nicole Miglis’ haunting vocals created a tapestry woven with bright, synthesized instrumentals and heavy bass drops. Hundred Waters’ ambient sound is like the soundtrack to a world far away. I also overheard the band described as “hipster Enya” which I found to be a fitting comparison as well. Hundred Waters return to Union Transfer with Interpol on December 1st and again on March 2nd for a headlining show.
Interpol took the stage, looking dapper as ever in their slim black suits, and launched into “Say Hello To The Angels” from 2002’s Turn on the Bright Lights. Immediately I was transported to a time when that album meant the world to me, and Interpol was on the verge of greatness. The high note harmony of Paul Banks’ and Daniel Kessler’s guitars is still intoxicating to my ears. While the band has been criticized for becoming a carbon copy of its former self (which some claim was merely a carbon copy of Joy Division) Interpol’s new album El Pintor shows promise of a comeback. El Pintor was represented most often in Saturday night’s set, which also relied heavily on Bright Lights and Antics. The new songs carry on Interpol’s theme of isolation, longing and desire, with Banks’ vocals still brooding and moody. Punctuated by Sam Fogarino’s excellent drumming and a staggering light show, the band looked and sounded fantastic.
The high point of the set came towards the end when Interpol indulged us with three early classics in a row with “PDA”, “Not Even Jail”, and “Slow Hands”. After a short break, Interpol returned for their encore, starting with “All the Rage Back Home” from El Pintor, a song which I think is a new classic for the band, one which has a lasting quality like their older material. They closed the encore with two more from Bright Lights, pleasing many fans with “NYC” and “Stella”. Interpol returns to Union Transfer on December 1st for another sold out show.