After months of anticipation, Interpol, Tycho, and Matthew Dear finally took the stage at Palace Theater.
Interpol has been a bucket list band for me for years. Their albums have walked me through so many points in life. I can’t imagine walking to campus without “Slow Hands” in my headphones, or having a pivotal moment while driving in the rain to “Pioneer to the Falls.” They feel like a friend to me in some ways. To finally see them take the stage was incredible.
Palace Theater was slow to fill in with an early door time, but space became more scarce in the audience as the night went on. One thing I was surprised by was the wide range of ages in the crowd. There was a kid around 10 years old holding down the barricade in the front and a couple in their 70s in the pit. It told me a lot about how these bands can have a strong impact on anyone. It’s something that I really appreciate.
First up was a set from Matthew Dear. He’s an artist that I have become familiar with over the past few years, so I was really excited to see him on the bill for this show. His footprint on the stage was small. He had his equipment all in one spot – but it was busy with dozens of cords and devices linking together to create a sonic world all his own. His heavy electronic set gripped the audience right away, but his grim and distorted vocals kept them hanging on every moment.
Next to take the stage was Tycho. They’ve headlined Palace Theater before, so seeing them there in an opening slot was a massive incentive for Interpol fans to jump on tickets for this tour. They definitely got their stage time in. The instrumental set lasted roughly an hour. I knew we were in for something special as I walked into the venue earlier in the night. The back soundboard was accompanied by two giant projectors. Right away I could tell that Tycho was going to bring a visually stunning set.
The four-piece band took the stage in front of these large, colorful projections. All of them dealt with nature in some way, whether it was the dessert, beach, or field. Trippy distortions took over the imagery perfectly that flowed with the music. Tycho released some of the tension brought on by the intensity of Matthew Dear’s set. It was so complimentary to have them both precede Interpol.
I was fearful that the audience would thin after Tycho left the stage, but the venue remained packed with drinks flowing as the crew set the stage for the final act of the night.
Finally, the lights came down and the band filed onto the stage. The opening notes of “Untitled” reverberated around the venue to a silent crowd. The hairs are standing up on my arms as I write. It was that impactful to hear those notes with my own ears.
The stage design appeared straightforward at first. Three mics out front, and two risers in the back; one for drums and one for keys. As the music filled the room, so did the lighting design. That is where the magic truly happened. Three thin stage-width lines of lights went across above the band to create incredible depth. Refracted light beams were everywhere you looked and danced endlessly to the music.
The night unfolded with a heavy-hitting setlist. So many favorites trickled in through the set like “Obstacle 1”, “NYC”, “All the Rage Back Home”, and “Evil”. Interpol’s upcoming album The Other Side of Make-Believe is not out yet, but we got a chance to hear four new songs to give a taste of what is to come. These songs had a more laid-back feel than most of the back catalog. It is always fun to hear bands grow and evolve, especially when treated to a live introduction to the music.
Overall, I think fans got just what they wanted from this tour; a chance to see one of their longtime favorite bands play the songs they know and love with a little extra freshness that only a forthcoming record and 2-year break can provide.
Setlist: Untitled/Evil/Fables/If You Really Love Nothing/Take You on a Cruise/Pioneer to the Falls/Narc/Toni/Something Changed/Obstacle 1/All the Rage Back Home/Rest My Chemistry/Into The Night/NYC/The Rover/The New/C’mere
Encore: Lights/Leif Erikson/Slow Hands