Friday, February 11, 2011


Having had a ticket in hand for several weeks, I drove up to the Boulder Theater on a snowy Tuesday evening, braving traffic and icy roads, arriving in time to grab a quick bite and then head over to the theater to see Interpol. People were limited to standing in the lobby until some time after 8PM, listening to the band do a sound check behind the theater's curtained doors. We were teased for at least 45 minutes with the repeated playing of the opening guitar riff from "Lights".

Their show in Salt Lake City was canceled due to illness the night before, the two bands then traveling to Denver overnight during a snow storm that dropped about 6 inches in the metro area. They were supposed to arrive at 11 AM to set up, but they arrived at 4:30 PM and were way behind schedule. I think everyone was happy that they even showed up at all considering the weather.

The doors opened and the show began shortly thereafter.

First up was School of Seven Bells, a band originally consisting of identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza and Benjamin Curtis, with the sisters singing vocals and Curtis creating the music to back the lyrics. However, Claudia recently left the band due to personal reasons, leaving School of Seven Bells with only one singer. The band is named after the School of the Seven Bells, a mythical South American pickpocket training academy.

Their sound has been described as dreamy and ethereal, and the lyrics as abstract. However, singer Alejandra Deheza insists that the lyrics are not abstract or obscure. In addition, the fact that she is a lucid dreamer is fitting of the lofty sounds they create.

Download my audience recording of the show here:

Interpol entered the darkened stage, lit by the moody blue, purple and red lights throughout the show. Although the crowd was not at capacity due to the nasty weather, they made up the difference with their enthusiasm. Those who came were totally into it.

I succeeded in capturing a very good audience recording. Enjoy!

REVERB of The Denver Post had this to say about the show:

Besides their similar feel to Joy Division, Interpol used to stick out in my mind because of their finesse with the sweeping and dramatic, yet sleepily poppy lullaby. Until their Tuesday night show at the Boulder Theater, that is. Their 90 minute set last night showed beyond any doubt that their sound is meant to be anything but sleepy.

The core trio of Paul Banks (guitar, lead vocals), Sam Fogarino (drums) and Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals) were joined by bassist David Pajo and keyboardist Brandon Curtis as they tore through a flawless set, focusing on many from their latest record, but plenty from the past three as well. Banks’ voice — often compared to that of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis — came across at the top of a truly masterful mix (as the sound always seems to be at this particular venue) as powerful, and still characteristically tentative – as if he was just a little bit unsure of himself. He didn’t go so far in the imitation of that singer as to copy his jerky, stiff dancing, however, but was often seen almost joyously grinning. His guitar work filled in where Kessler’s left off, which wasn’t often, as they built songs around their signature sound, along with the heavy, ever-present bass, imitated perfectly by Pajos.

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