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LIVE REVIEW: Interpol at UCSD 2/2/11


Though temperatures dropped into the low 50’s, UCSD’s campus was still heavily trafficked Wednesday night as a few thousand indie rock fans braved the cold weather and made the trek to RIMAC Arena to support rock’s most well dressed band: Interpol. Touring in support of their latest self-titled album (their third for indie heavyweight Matador Records, after releasing their previous effort via major label Capitol) it seems that the band just came through San Diego a few months ago. Performing at SOMA in the fall of 2010, Interpol is making a full-fledged attack on the sates and Europe as they will head overseas after a lengthy winter tour that will take them up and down both the east and west coasts. The campus of UCSD is a sprawling city of modern architecture and distant parking. You would think the SDSU Aztecs were playing the UCSD Tritons with parking being as difficult as it was.

Though as I eventually made my way inside the cavernous RIMAC Arena, I noticed that many of the bleacher seats had been collapsed, providing only a limited number of seats available for those in attendance not interested in standing between die hard fans and the lackadaisical attendees who happened to have saunter into the show from a evening calculus class. Shockingly, the venue was half empty, providing plenty of space for everyone to enjoy themselves without interfering with anyone’s personal space. So it was very disturbing for me when just as the band was launching into “Lights” a song off their new album, a lanky young man came from out of nowhere and deposited his frame 3 inches in front of where I was enjoying the concert. At 5’7 I was dwarfed by his massive 5’9 frame, and was genuinely agitated that this guy would stand directly in front of me with so much ample space to view the band in all their gloomy glory. Here’s a quick tip for anyone reading this: if you’re at a concert and someone decides to stand right in front of you, sneeze or cough into the back of their head and neck and watch them quickly relocate to another spot. It’s a rude yet non aggressive way to let someone know that they’ve chosen the wrong place to view the show.

Interpol’s hour long set consisted of plenty of newer songs from their latest album and previous offering, Our Love To Admire. Currently touring with former Slint guitarist David Pajo, in place of original member Carlos Dengler, who left the band in 2010; Pajo fit in perfectly with the band as he kept a low profile off to the side of the stage leaving the spotlight to worthy front man Paul Banks. After an hour-long set, the band left the stage for a few minutes, only to come back with an encore of songs mainly off their first two albums, Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics. About three songs in to the encore a small group of young ladies who had been annoyingly dancing throughout the entire show ambled into my immediate area, with one of them flailing her arms about wildly, proudly displaying her tattooed under arms. Yes, this young woman had the majority of her armpit tattooed and was proud of it. After the show ended I was left to wonder if that young lady was scholarship student at UCSD, or just some gutter punk who scrimped and saved just to see the dapper men of Interpol for just one night. If you missed Interpol at the RIMAC don’t fret, you’ll have another chance to catch them as they’ll be performing on the first night of this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Friday April, 19th.