Life is full of difficult choices. In terms of concert conflicts, this was the hardest decision to make all year. Do I go to see Jesus & The Mary Chain with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Evan Dando at the Wiltern or do I go to Interpol and Liars at the Forum. Since I had already got my tickets for Interpol, I opted for Interpol hoping I would be able to see Jesus & The Mary Chain at 4th & B in San Diego the next night.
Liars started the evening with their art damaged industrial infused indie rock. Angus Andrew (Vocals/Bass) was decked out in a white suit as he sporadically bounded across the stage. "Freak Out" had me fooled that I was at the Jesus And Mary Chain concert with its wall of sound guitars. I was impressed by Julian Gross (Drums) who was playing some off kilter drum patterns and infusing it with some electronic drum sounds. The drumming was reminiscent of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. The crowd was really chatty during their performance and It was difficult to get into them due to the expansiveness of the Forum. I will have to check out their own show at a smaller venue to get the full vibe.
The Forum has never been known as a sonically pleasing venue. Muse turned it up to 10 and played one of the top shows I have seen at the Forum back in April. I was hoping Interpol could make the best of a bad venue.
With the fires raging all over Southern California, the sky was strewn with ash coloring it red and stifling the air. This show would have been canceled if it was outdoors. The somber mood provided an interesting backdrop to Interpol's icy detached tunes. "Pioneer To The Falls" sounded even better then I remembered from the last time I saw Interpol in Vegas. It was funny to see Daniel Kessler(Guitars) with two small Fender guitar amps and his trademark Epiphone Hollowbody rocking the Forum proving that it is not the size of your amplifiers that counts. "Obstacle 1" accelerated the pace and got the crowd moving with its slick guitar lines. "Pace Is The Trick" is one of the better songs off their new album "Our Love To Admire" and sounded solid live. "Say Hello To Angels" nicely showcased "Sam Fogarino's clockwork drumming. "Mammoth" continued to accelerate the pace and Paul Banks(Vocals/Guitars) was emoting the lyrics extremely well.
Since I have seen Interpol many times before I know what to expect in that they don't move around and let the music do the talking.They did have some light panels scattered across the stage with various red, blue and white lighting shining on the stage.
"Slow Hands" was a huge crowd favorite and the people in front of the stage were bouncing in time to the disjointed guitar lines. "The Lighthouse" was an odd choice in my opinion and dropped the mood back to somber. I was hoping they would play another new track like "Who Do You Think". The reverb on the guitars during "The Lighthouse" was pretty intense though. "The Heinrich Maneuver" was sadly ironic as Paul asked "How are things on the west coast?". The crowd sang along loudly to "Evil" as Daniel shuffled across the stage while nailing the guitar parts. "Not Even Jail" was fantastic live as they did an extended noisy intro into the song with some spring reverb effects. The tension within the song was palpable and exceeded the recorded version. Interpol came back for a three song encore from their first album that was nicely capped with "PDA". Interpol will be embarking on a European tour with Blonde Redhead. I think I need to go to Europe again.
Interpol setlist for the Forum (10/23/07)
"Pioneer To The Falls"
"Pace Is The Trick"
"Say Hello To Angels"
"No I In Threesome"
"Rest My Chemistry"
"The Heinrich Maneuver"
"Not Even Jail"
"Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down"