100 Shows of 2010 - #48: Interpol/Twin Tigers/The Postelles @ The National, 7/29/10

It was a dark and stormy night...literally. The heavens had clouded and opened and unleashed a whale of a storm front all up and down the East Coast, meaning nothing but trouble. Power outages, downed trees, and ponding streets greeted me on my arrival in Richmond, but thankfully the lights were still on at The National. It might have ended a whole lot later than planned, but this show with its pretty fine triple bill made the long distance drive well worth it. Once it got going, that is.

MINI RECAP: Interpol = Spooky! Twin Tigers = Mysterious! The Postelles = Kooksy! Overall Score: B+

The foursome of The Postelles was first to swagger onto the giant expanse of The National's stage, an hour late. Even before they started to play, they reminded me a whole lot of The Kooks - lots of skinny skinny jeans and pointy toes and even a couple of jaunty hats. Their sound, too, was rather Kooks-esque, frenzied yet polished poppy overtones to their indie racket, which I found somewhat entertaining but not quite captivating. The drummer won me over, though, sassy as he was back behind his drum kit. Truth be told, I'm not all that sure I would have stuck them on a bill with Interpol, they struck me as just a wee bit too safe. But perhaps, should I ever see them in a small club when I'm not impatiently waiting for other bands to play, perhaps I'll change my tune.

Next up was Twin Tigers, whom I was most excited to see, since it would be for the very first time. Sprung from that deep, deep well that is the Athens scene, I fell instantly and utterly in love with the band, even before they played a note. Why, you might wonder? Well, friends, they ambled onstage to "Runnin' With The Devil", and the campness of Van Halen just seemed perfect at that moment. Hence, my love for them. Musically, I couldn't have loved them much more. Their knack of lulling one into a false sense of security before exploding into a beautifully crushing wall of noise was incredible. I found their hybrid of crunchy, swirly, heavy heavy neopsych meets shoegaze meets sweet sweet indie nigh on irresistable. Also fantastic was the ferocity with which they attacked each and every song, a savagery that was downright sexy. They would repeatedly build a dreamy, delicate haze only to plunge unmercifully into beefy bass and gritty guitars and murderous drums. Stunning. The Twin Tigers presence onstage is magnetic, powerful, and they play their instruments masterfully. They might have been even better than I had hoped they'd be, dodgy sound and all. Their last song too quickly followed their first, and I hated to see them go. A great, great set, and I can't wait to see them again.

We waited and waited and waited and waited for Interpol. Around 11, we were informed that the band had been stuck in Newark for hours (poor lambs) trying to get a flight to Richmond. They were en route, and should be with us around midnight. After what seemed like an eternity, the much-thinned out crowd let out a gigantic roar, welcoming Interpol to the stage. They sure know how to make an entrance. I hadn't realized how good it would feel to see them again after so many years. Right away it was (almost) just like old times, the band decked out in their finest black, the sensational lighting, and of course, the music. There were two glaring issues to the set, which was otherwise pretty fantastic. Issue 1: The absence of Carlos D. Issue 2: Not so great sound. The lead guitar was WAY too loud the entire set, and it was more than a little distracting. But the songs, o the songs...

"Evil" was a triumph, with the crowd singing along and a kaleidoscopic effect to the lights to mimic the crashing crescendo of the song's end. "Say Hello To The Angels" was a little too fast, a little too frenectic, but after the day they'd had a little discombobulation was well understandable. "Narc" was simply glorious, "PDA" was one of my favorites of the set (which is appropriate, since it's one of my favorite Interpol songs). "Slow Hands" was another joy, lit by dizzying orange lights. After the set, which was split between the comfortable beauty of the old and the equally lovely new material, the crowd screamed for an encore. And the band obliged, delivering two of its' finest performances of the evening in "Hands Away" and "C'mere", the former hauntingly reminding me of how the stark glory of their sonic landscapes made me fall in love with them in the first place. A fine rendition of "Not Even Jail" completed the first encore, and after lustily demanding more the crowd was sated with one more song, the loud and choppy and jerky and sweeping "Stella Was a Diver and She's Always Down". And the it was all over, and I was sad.

Overall, despite the delays and the rampant sound issues, it was a mighty enjoyable evening. Twin Tigers battered my brain with their sensational rambling landscapes, and Interpol was, well, Interpol. I'd of course rather have seen them at the 9:30 Club, and Carlos D sure did leave one heck of a big void, but I was oh so happy to see them again. It had been too damn long. A girl needs her fix, after all.

mp3: PDA (Interpol from Turn On The Bright Lights)


  1. Why the f*ck won't they ever play Song Seven or A Time to Be So Small????????????????????


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