Saturday, September 15, 2007

Who Do You Think?

My life feels more complete now: I've finally seen Interpol live.

Not the greatest of shows, but it'll do. They're extremely polished live. Almost too polished. If Interpol live were a performance vehicle, it'd be more "mechanical BMW" than "flashy Ferrari." Straight lines, all business.

I can't remember what the first song was. Maybe "Pioneer to the Falls." But I definitely remember the second one: "Obstacle 1."

That's my favorite Interpol song. Perhaps my favorite song. It's the only track on my iPod that enjoys "never-skip" status. Happy, sad, angry, sunny, cloudy, rainy: it gets played. A bit anticlimactic to hear it so early in the show.

And the crowd was strangely subdued. (Odd comment from me, right? I'm as lackadaisical as they come at a show. But I'm always like that.) I think the vastness of the venue had a lot to do with it, much like the atmosphere for Modest Mouse at the Nokia Theater. Interpol's got a bit of a Goldie Locks problem right now: too big to play with the little boys, but too small to play with the big boys. MSG wasn't close to being full, which meant that many people there didn't have to try very hard to get there. No wonder there was a mass of people who scurried for the exits after the first of two encores. You'd never see that at Bowery Ballroom because it'd be filled with true fans.

Oh well. Whatta ya gonna do? All distractions aside, it was a very good performance. My only serious gripe is that they didn't play "Who Do You Think." Quite surprising, since that's the latest single off their new album.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Greedy Bastard, Aren't You?

So I'm asking a friend at the office if he's got any friends who might want a pair of tickets for Interpol. He wonders aloud why my friends don't want them. I tell him that my concert-going friends aren't anywhere near the city. My friends who are in the city aren't of the right sensibilities. I tell him that they'd wonder: "Interpol? Why do you want to see a law enforcement agency?"

[Update: I'm out at dinner with a friend a few days after the show, and I mention that I saw Interpol. Rather predictably, he responds: "Who? The international police?" This is the same friend who had music on in the background while we were on the phone earlier this week. I pointed out how unusual it was to hear music on his end of the line. He told me that he was streaming music from the web, trying to stay hip. I asked what he was listening to. "John Mayer," he said. And I said, "Try harder."]

I finally got rid of the last of my extra tickets for tonight's show. I've definitely learned my lesson. (Well, maybe.) I almost never buy albums on iTunes, but I pre-ordered the new Interpol a couple of months ago just so I could get the pre-sale code for tickets to tonight's show at MSG. (Of course, I still intend to get the album in CD form.) I should've known from past experience that a pre-sale doesn't guarantee good seats. The best I could get was two for Section 38, which is at the very rear of the arena, albeit on the floor. When the general sale came along, I jumped in for another pair and got something much closer. Being the obsessive freak that I am, I kept checking to see what else was available, and I snagged two more tickets in the pit -- the "standing room only" area directly in front of the stage. Couldn't decide whether having a seat would be preferable to being in the pit. Besides, I figured I could easily dump the extras.

Man, was I wrong. It seems Interpol may have been a bit too ambitious. They couldn't sell out MSG, and there's a flood of tickets available on eBay and Craigslist. Fortunately, I was able to find someone pretty quickly to take the two tickets for the pit at face value. But I had to dump the two tickets in Section 38 at a loss a couple of hours ago.

Maybe Interpol will have learned a lesson, too. Maybe they'll play five nights at Bowery Ballroom next time instead of one night at MSG. I hate big venues. So impersonal.

Regardless, I'm as excited as can be to see them tonight. They're at the top of my list of favorite bands whom I haven't seen live. In a few hours, I'll have to find someone to take their place atop that list.

(Already figured it out: The Radio. Dept.)