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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 109 - 08/19/05

Interpol + Snowmen
Metro, Melbourne, AUS, 27.7.05

Man, the Metro is HUGE. And Interpol have sold it out for two nights. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how popular a band Interpol truly are. They are HUGE.

And Snowmen? They're HUGEly CRAP. Totally forgettable 'rock 'n' roll' thrashing around.

Before Interpol came on I had a strong preconception, based largely on what I'd read about them, that their live show would be straightforward, well-executed and impressive. It was. Most of the material from their two albums was reproduced faithfully, with a decent light show and a full sound.

First the disappointments: no "Stella was a diver and she was always down"; Daniel Kessler's guitar wasn't loud enough; some of the best moments on some of my favourite songs didn't quite come across. And I'm sorry, but Carlos D. looks like a lobotomised Nazi.

But the highlights: Paul Banks' voice was fantastic. It really filled the space beautifully, and made me realise what a good vocalist he is. He also played some of the more memorable guitar lines, leaving Kessler to strut around, sometimes barely audible, picking up the rest.

Best songs? The second half of "PDA" was pretty damn amazing, and the encore was excellent: "Untitled" and "Obstacle 1" are two of my favourite songs, and were played brilliantly.

So, that's the detail. The other feeling I was left with was whether I actually like Interpol that much. Seeing them live is akin to spending the price of two CDs on hearing them play their two CDs very loudly. They make decent music, but the live experience is nothing breathtaking. They're something of an impenetrable package, and hard to love. As long as they write songs as good as "Obstacle 1" and "Narc" I'll continue to buy the albums, but may leave the live show for the fans.

Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke e-mail address

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