Let’s start with the elephant in the room which reveals itself as soon as Interpol takes the stage of the Tent Stage. Where’s drummer Sam Fogarino? We see Paul Banks, we see Daniel Kessler and we see the two live members that Interpol has had with them for a few tours, but the man with the trademark glasses and raised quiff is nowhere to be seen. A quick search on the internet shows that Fogarino is suffering from an unspecified illness and has had to miss shows before this tour. Of course we wish him a speedy recovery and hope to be able to admire the band in full force again soon, but luckily the skilled replacement of drum technician Chris Broome ensures that this is only a small blemish on an otherwise flawless performance.
Photography Hub Dautzenberg
It’s hard not to get goosebumps once the band kicks off with Untitledthe opening track of debut album and über-indie classic Turn On The Bright Lights† The riff that Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler conjure together from their guitars sounds like it is reflected through a kaleidoscope, while Banks sings the verse painfully slowly. Every word in the sentence ‘I will surprise you sometimes, I’ll come round’ is stretched to the limit and the pretty well-stocked tent hangs on his every word. The singer then spends minutes crouching on stage, hanging over an effects panel, while the outro of the song just barely lets the audience take off. If immediately afterwards the irresistible evil is deployed, the audience is completely ecstatic.
The first ten minutes are without a doubt one of the highlights of this Pinkpop edition. Then the band takes two songs from the seventh album to be released next month and one slightly less impressive oldie (narc) gas back a bit. But as soon as the opening riff of Obstacle 1, also from that legendary debut album, blaring through the tent, the goosebumps are again meters thick on the arms. Then we’ve had all the new songs and forms The Rover from the somewhat difficult previous record Marauder (2018) the only remaining dip. Furthermore, Interpol skilfully waltzes through the set list, which offers a nice cross-section of the oeuvre. Although the focus is of course right on the aforementioned debut album, of which the interpretations of The New and PDA be very effective tonight.
Interpol will never be the most overwhelming live band. The gentlemen are always just a bit too tight in suits for that and the music is perhaps just a bit too melancholy. But the inspiration and the click with the audience that we sometimes missed on festival passages of the band is certainly present tonight. Banks is not a great orator but charmingly awkwardly mumbles the titles of most of the songs and constantly thanks us kindly for being there.
Daniel Kessler turns out to be the biggest eye-catcher, he is so absorbed in the music that he does not get to interact with the audience, but it is very touching how he is constantly rocking his hips as he squeezes world riff after world riff from his guitar. Interpol and Pinkpop seemed a bit of an awkward combination in advance, but this penetrating show knows how to keep the attention of the tent very well. And for anyone who’s still a little miserable inside all weekend – even in the summery weather – this wee hour of melancholy post-punk is a party.
Seen: Pinkpop 2022, Sunday (6.30 pm) in Tent Stage. read here all our reviews of Pinkpop.