Rock and Roll has always been considered a young person’s game. While living legends like U2 and The Rolling Stones still pay the bills (hell, they could pay everyone’s bills), the seemingly endless fountain of energy that youth provides powers the engine that is modern rock music. With Interpol, the smooth trio out of New York, their engine runs on class and precision. Decked out in suits and dress shoes, their second sold-out Pomona show was as much a celebration of their careers as it was a reflection of their longevity and maturity. With five albums in 12 years, including a four-year break between their newest album, El Pintor, and the one before it, fans were clamoring for their show to start.
Frontman Paul Banks spent time after nearly every song asking for his guitar to be louder, even if it sounded fine to the audience. Perhaps he just wanted to rock out even more, as each song got increasingly intense. Their varied setlist represented all eras of the NYC band without making the audience feel like they were being subjected to a live commercial for their newest album. Even the fantastic tracks off of El Pintor fit smoothly within their musical repertoire and were met with nearly as much fanfare as staples like “PDA” and “C’Mere.”
Maybe it was the vast time since we last saw the band or the structure of their songs (rarely eclipsing five minutes apiece), but the show felt over in a flash. Little to no banter occurred between tracks, but how could it, with fans roaring and clapping from the last chord of the prior song to the opening riff of the next? Interpol blazed through their set, either by sheer force of forward momentum or because the crowd demanded a higher tempo than their recorded versions, but by the time the encore kicked in, an hour felt like a blink of an eye and the audience was faced with the depressing thought of ending this brilliant time.
Few bands seem to earn their status in music these days, propelled by a wavering zeitgeist hungry for the “next.” Interpol has proven that their skill is more than sustainable and can continue to sell out any venue they choose, as their collection of songs work well with any crowd. While they performed at the FYF Festival earlier this year, seeing them in a club or theater is really where the band shines, and Fox Theater provided the perfect stage for them to do so. Hopefully it won’t be another half-decade for it to happen again.