Interpol at Marquee Theatre Last Night

Categories: Last Night
Maria Vassett
Interpol performing live at Marquee Theatre last night.
Marquee Theatre
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Interpol hasn't headlined a Phoenix show since 2004, a few months after Antics was released. In 2005 they visited our state twice, playing Edgefest, and Coconuts, a small Tucson bar that is now closed. Since then, Arizona has been skipped on every tour, including all of 2007's Our Love to Admire tour and the first leg of last year's self-titled tour.

Not that we should take it too personally. Lately, things have been turbulent for Interpol. Carlos D, the original bassist, left the band shortly after they finished recording their eponymous fourth studio album. Drummer Sam Fogarino told Mike Escoto all about it in a recent interview.

Six years of anticipation brought fans out to the sold out Marquee Theatre. Who knows what someone seeing the band for the first time was expecting, whether it was a balanced set, or the overly ambitious idea of hearing Turn on the Bright Lights in full. Regardless, it was clear that the audience's feelings toward the self-titled songs reflected the album's lackluster reception. The handful of people singing and jumping up and down to songs like "Barricade" were met by a sea of people standing silent and motionless.

Maria Vassett
Interpol performing live at Marquee Theatre last night.

Sure, it was a sold out show and it was kind of warm, but that hasn't stopped fans from showing some semblance of a pulse at the Marquee Theatre in the past. In fact, some of their most crowded and sweaty shows have drawn the most energetic crowds. But, hey, these are hipsters, I guess, so they're not necessarily big on moving.

The band's classic songs had the best reactions, but even so, sing alongs were sparse - for instance, the first lines of "Evil" (did they forget what comes after "Heaven restores you in life?"), the chorus of "PDA" and most of "Slow Hands."

Were fans that upset that the band was playing new songs? They played five songs from the new album, two from Our Love to Admire, and six from Antics and Turn on the Bright Lights. That's seven "new" songs and twelve "old" songs.

So, what was the problem? Why not show a little enthusiasm? Fans seemed more interested in talking to their friends or taking pictures than enjoying the concert. They were lukewarm at best, cheering and clapping along when prompted.

"Lights", the first single off the new album is the perfect example of this. The crowd clapped along to the beginning and then stopped until other instruments joined singer/guitarist Paul Banks.

Maybe this is why Interpol hasn't played Phoenix in six years. I can't say how the band was received in 2005, but can speculate that the Marquee Theatre was full of uber fans that got to hear a set full of Antics and Turn on the Bright Lights songs. Perhaps that's what they were expecting tonight, but it's no longer 2005. The band has put out two albums since, and is promoting their most recent release. Most of their previous tours have been similarly structured, just Google old set lists or listen to their live album, which was recorded during the Our Love to Admire tour.

School of Seven Bells' set didn't help. They had sound issues because they missed their sound check thanks to a flat tire. There was also apparently an issue with the band's introduction. The band tweeted: "Thanks to Tom from Lucky Man. Totally made up for calling us Sleigh Bells. Cafe Patron all around..."

All's well that end's well.

Perhaps Interpol will have better luck at their April show in Tucson. A fan remarked, "They didn't play 'Stella'. Looks like I'll have to go to Tucson after all."

Good luck with that.

Set List:

1. Success
2. Say Hello to the Angels
3. Narc
4. Hands Away
5. Barricade
6. Rest my Chemistry
7. Evil
8. Length of Love
9. Lights
10. Leif Erikson
11. Summer Well
12. Take you on a Cruise
13. The Heinrich Maneuver
14. Memory Serves
15. PDA


16. Untitled
17. The New
18. Slow Hands
19. Not Even Jail

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Interpol at Marquee Theatre

Personal Bias: I drove to Las Vegas to see them a few months ago, and in spite of my $12 rum and coke, it was one of the best shows I went to last year.

The Crowd: Surprisingly not into it. They had random spurts of energy at the beginnings and ends of songs, but otherwise politely clapped.

Overheard: I lost count of how many times I heard "STELLA!!"

Random Notebook Dump: Paul has a faux hawk and rat tail, a couple guys tried (and failed) to mosh, and a group of people is being very obvious about their weed smoking. ...where am I? This doesn't feel like an Interpol show.

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Having been to plenty of Interpol concerts (literally) all over the world, I would say this was one of the best crowds yet. You always get your fair share of people talking and using their cameras, but especially up at the front the crowd was totally into it. I think Interpol concerts are kind of mellow in general.

Insect G
Insect G

Interpol selling out a Phoenix show can only mean better days ahead for Phoenix as a premier stop for touring Indie artists. Good review!


This was my 50th Interpol show...ok that number is a bit high, more closer to 20, but this show definitely had the least responsive crowd i've ever seen for this band. It was very noticeable coming back inside the venue from the bar. 90% of the people didn't move. It wasn't Slayer so I wasn't expecting chaos. But at their September show in San Diego, I got thrown around most of the show. It was fun. Maybe I just expect a little crowd activity at an open venue with no seats? - @FLNGN


I have to agree with the prior comment - the crowd up front definitely seemed enthusiastic.


Honest question (not being sarcastic, just curious)- Where were you standing in the crowd? Where I was (up towards the front)....EVERYONE was singing along and jumping up and down (at least to the fast paced songs). Although I couldn't see the entire crowd, they seemed into it. I heard a lot of clapping and screaming throughout the entire set. IAgreed with the pot smoking...wrong concert people. Interpol also seemed receptive and happy with the crowd's response. Anyways, I absolutely loved it and had an amazing time regardless of how the rest of the crowd felt.


They should impart the cell phone pseudo-ban at concerts like they do in movie theaters. I was blinded all night by some bozo watching the show through his phone. Put that s**t away!

Melissa Fossum
Melissa Fossum

Brandi, it's a fair question. I was off to the right maybe 15-20 rows from the stage. It was crowded to the point I could still breathe comfortably but didn't have room to stretch out. I was far enough way that I could see the entire stage, but not where the crowd in front of me ended. I had a few jumpers/fist pumpers in front of me, but to my left I mostly saw blank stares, and...well, the guys passing around a joint. Part of the reason I couldn't see all the way to the front was the people taking video what seemed like every 30 seconds.

I'm glad to hear that the people in the front were energetic. The band saw their most dedicated fans...but it sounds like all of you banded together and your enthusiasm didn't really spread to the rest of the crowd.This disappointed me. Interpol hasn't played here in 6 years. The show sold out a couple days in advance...what happened to all that anticipation?

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