Photo by Tom Spray (Roskilde Festival 2015)
Looking like a couple of cool kids entering a class they think is ridiculous, the supporting act, Health, saunter on stage without a sound just around eight. Next thing I know, I am blown sideways by the wall of pounding bass and drums ejecting from the sub-speakers. The band’s noisy death-disco is a monstrous blast of unpredictable sounds and rhythms. It’s hard not to be impressed. After 40 minutes of this Californian frenzy, my ear canals are, if not healthy, at least thoroughly cleansed and ready for the main act.
Even though it is Interpol’s second performance in a row at Vega, the room gets stuffed wall to wall. The audience is a mature one, but so is the band after releasing five albums. The newest long player, ‘El pintor’ (Spanish for ‘The painter’, and an anagram of ‘Interpol’), has its cover projected onto the backdrop, as Paul Banks and co. head on stage.
Playing as tight as the suits they’re wearing, Interpol turn on the bright lights with ‘Say hello to the angels’. The straight-out-of-Mad-Men drummer, Sam Fogarino, keeps a rock-solid post-punk beat under the jarring guitars and the notorious dark vocal lines, as an ecstatic fan jumps like a maniac at the edge of the stage. As the bass-intro for ‘Evil’ begins, hands are raised in the air, and the single fan is joined by the entire audience.
After a parade of hits including the fresh ‘My desire’, it strikes to me how great Interpol still are. ‘Hands away’ is a master stroke from the band and ‘Pioneer to the falls’ is a personal favorite that comes off sharper and with a whipping nerve this night.
Interpol is a perfect mix of mechanical order and profane weakness – there is enough perfection to make you accept it and enough cracks to make you believe it. For the grand finale we get the old classic ‘PDA’, and it’s Interpol par excellence. By now I’m getting tired of clapping like a monkey, but it’s hard to stop.