October 21st, 2007

Cow of Pain, Polter-Cow of Pain

I Promise to Commit No Acts of Violence, Physical or Otherwise

On Friday, I got the overwhelming urge to go to the Interpol concert the next evening. I had assumed it was sold out, but it was not! Also, there were some people selling cheap tickets on Craigslist. I made some calls and found a companion in Rick (ellric). The next day, I drove to the Peet's in El Cerrito to meet a guy named Jason and give him fifty bucks for two tickets. It was a hilarious meeting where he called me from a couple yards away to confirm that the person who had just walked in and sat down without ordering any coffee was, indeed, me.

Rick and I dined at Carl's Jr. beforehand and walked over to Bill Graham Civic a little before 7, at which time the line stretched around the corner and then down a block, across the street and down another block. We were assholes and took our place in line without crossing the street. I acted knowledgeable to people around me. I don't know why people assume I know what I'm talking about.

Despite the long line, we were able to get a decent spot fairly close to the stage...which was marred by two very tall people right in our line of sight. Rick himself was tall and was likely causing frustration for the people behind him, but these guys were taller than he was.

The opening band was Liars, and they successfully broke my streak of never having seen a sucky opening band. When the lead singer said they had two songs left, I heard people groaning around me. There was one guy, however, who played guitar and drums and sound effects in addition to singing backup, and I think he should go start his own band. He was cool.

Interpol was fantastic, as I expected from having seen their short set at BFD. They don't do a lot of stage show; they just play their songs, and they play them really well. They played a lot of my favorite songs, but I was sad they didn't play my favoritest, "Length of Love." The order is slightly off, but:

"Pioneer to the Falls"—A perfect opener, of course. I kind of wish the audience had actually gone quiet for the bit near the end when everything drops out and Paul repeats the opening lines. Instead they were cheering and such, which happens at concerts.
"Obstacle 1"—Going from the new album to the first album. Oddly, Paul didn't really match the deeper voice he goes to in this song; it was a little higher. I think he may have sounded different back in the Turn On the Bright Lights days.
"C'mere"—And then to the middle album. It amused me. Someone behind me said this was her favorite song, which was weird because it's in my second tier. I like it, but it's not a favorite.
"Narc"—I found it funny that they played this directly after, because they have a very similar hook, and I kept forgetting which was which when I started getting into both songs at the same time.
"The Scale"—Not really one I've gotten into, and I actually thought it was "Rest My Chemistry" until later they did play "Rest My Chemistry" and I had no idea what this one had been.
"Say Hello to the Angels"—SO AWESOME! I was just thinking about how great it would to hear this one live, and then they played it and I screamed and Rick looked at me funny. It was even faster than usual. It's such a fun song, and I always see these guys in my head when I hear the intro.
"Take You on a Cruise"—Another one I don't care so much about, although someone behind me was quite excited to hear it.
"Mammoth"—A song on the new album I fell in love with on the first listen. Someone behind me was also a fan, as we were both singing along. The guitar sounded rawer live. I was paying a lot of attention to Daniel Kessler, the guitarist, who looked like Michael Vartan and was thus kinda hot. He seemed to be the only one on stage really having fun. There were times when he stepped into the backlight at the right time, and he looked like a total rock star and it was awesome.
"Rest My Chemistry"—I was very confused when this started up because I was so certain they'd already played it. Interpol may have many strengths, but a variegated sound is not one of them.
"No I in Threesome"—Another fun song to sing along to with the fans behind me.
"Slow Hands"—For some reason, this song is a lot of fun live. I think I sort of discount it because it got a lot of radio play and I've heard it a million times and know the lyrics really well, but it just really comes alive as a song when they play it in concert.
"Evil"—Why did Carlos have to be turned around when he played the opening bassline? I wanted to see that! Lamer. This was one the whole audience was singing along to. It's one of my very favorites.
"The Heinrich Maneuver"—The current single and a guaranteed play.
"Not Even Jail"—A great closer with a killer bassline. I was definitely watching Carlos and his crazy fingers on this one. Carlos, who would go back and steal a smoke every now and then, sometimes keeping the cigarette in his mouth when he wasn't playing.

"Untitled"—I didn't even recognize this at first because I did not expect them to play it. It's the opening track off the first album, and it's totally lovely.
"Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down"—Another from Turn On the Bright Lights, I hadn't really cared for this much, but I really liked it live.
"PDA"—Before this song, they did some sort of freeform jamming for a while, and I don't know whether it's part of a song they're working on, or they were just...playing random music for fun. But then the drum intro started, and we knew what was going on. Amusingly, at the bit right after the first chorus where everything just fades out for a second, they just stopped for about fifteen seconds. It was pretty cool. I like random things like that, where you get a different experience from hearing the song on the CD. And Daniel did the backup vocals! So that's where those come from. I was amused to see Paul just keep a cigarette in his mouth at the end of the song, since he didn't have to sing for the long outro.

I made sure to do things like pump my fist in the air, clap with both hands, wave my arms around, and basically have a lot of fun with physical movements...

...because after tomorrow, I won't be able to have fun like that for at least six weeks. Monday morning, at 7:45, I'm getting arthroscopic surgery on my shoulder to keep it from dislocating again. I'm going to be kidnapped by my family for a week, and I may not have access to the Internet, and if I do, I'll only have one good arm, so don't be offended if I don't leave as many comments. I'm using my recovery time to mainline Six Feet Under and read The Book Thief, among other things.

The Interpol concert was one last two-armed hurrah. I'M GOING TO MISS YOU, LEFT ARM.