As one of the first big shows after an early-summer slowdown in shows for the area, Interpol's concert Wednesday was one event I was keenly looking forward to attending. The show also marked the first of a trickle of shows that I'll be covering in the second half of the year, including two more shows in the next week.
After a some miscommunication, credentials came through with a last minute call to the publicist around 5:00pm. The VIP passes, which were set up separately thanks to the good folks at Playback, were at the box office at 5:30pm, and the photo pass was waiting when I returned just before NYC-based Calla opened the show. Just after 9:15pm, the lights went down and Interpol came on stage to a packed house, thick with anticipation and cigarette smoke alike.
The somber boys in black opened up with Pioneer to the Fall, the first track, not coincidentally, from their new album. With the band bathed in a deep blue wash that gradually lifted though the first song, the dim lighting eventually gave way to brighter greens and magentas.
Throughout the show, the band played a very tight set, with few surprises in the delivery of the familiar tracks. Dan Kessler and Carlos D proved to be the most visible characters of the group, in starkly contrasting ways. Out of all the members' performances, Kessler seemed to genuinely enjoy himself and relish the concert experience, frequently playing at the front of the stage.
The infamous Carlos D, on the other hand, took a different approach to his playing: nothing fancy or unnecessarily flashy, just simple precision and effortless, ice-man cool. Having traded in his severe, asymmetrical haircut and for a dirty ‘stache and more au naturale styling, Dengler looked less the fasciast villian and, with his distinctive bolo tie, vest, and long coat accoutrements intact, more like he walked off the set of Deadwood.
Appropriately enough, lighting rigs at either side of the stage mean that Kessler and Carlos D were also the most well lit of the group. These LED arrays produced some great short-lighting effects, with fill provided by more diffuse lighting from the back of the stage.
In the following shot of Carlos D, the split lighting between the two sides of the stage was almost perfectly even on his face for a little Two-Face imitation.
Though not as well lit as his bandmates, the moody treatment singer Paul Banks received seemed to fit the music perfectly. While interesting lighting on Banks was scarce, there were still a few small moments that stood out during the first three songs, like the following spotlight effect that caught the singer as he stepped back from the mic.
Sam Fogarino on drums fared just marginally better, with a blue wash over him for the majority of the first three songs. The drummer benefited from hotter, near-white cyan light that lit him up ocassionally.
Overall, blue, green, and magenta LED light dominated the stage early on in the set, with very little white light except during the third song. when the strips squeezed out a little white light. Aside from the two LED arrays on the sides of the stage, there were also eight other LED assemblies placed around the back of the stage.
While fairly dormant early on in the set, these LED panels came to life later in the performance and displayed color gradients and pseudo-IR false-color images.
For this show, I used primes exclusively and relied on the Nikon 50mm and 85mm lenses for their fast apertures. Of these two, I used the 50mm f/1.4 slightly more for its wider field of view, which was still slightly too tight for many shot, and stayed between f/1.6 and f/2 for majority of the first three songs. While the set wasn't quite as severe in its lighting as say, that of the Faint in their recent performance, the low intensity of the lighting still dictated the use of primes and an ISO range of 1250-1600.
While a wide angle option would have been welcome, particularly for Kessler and Carlos D, the two primes did a fairly good job for many of the images.
- Pioneer to the Falls
- Slow Hands
- Rest My Chemistry
- Hands Away
- No I in Threesome
- Heinrich Maneuver
- Not Even Jail
- Leif Erikson
- Obstacle 1
- Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down