Interpol @Roskilde Festival (Denmark): Review

I think most people have a few bands that are impossible to be objective in relation to. You can understand intellectually why people might not like them and that everything they release is not revolutionary. But when people talk shit about them, or even sort of nicely criticize them, it does hurt a little, little bit. Often these artists were the first love; perhaps the entrance point to a genre, the first band you say live, or a band you grew up listening to with friends or family.

I have two of those bands; Placebo and Interpol. And yes, I´m working in a headwind with those two bands as they tend to be polarizing. But on the other hand, most people suck, so I could not care less (really mature, huh?).

Well, I will save my love letter to Placebo for another time; this text is devoted to Interpol. When I got the opportunity to go the Roskilde, and only for a few days, I tried to go Wednesday (Nine Inch Nails) to Thursday (Interpooooooooool!!!), and proved to be a master move (see editor Nilsson´s report regarding NIN). Interpol have released five records and sixth is due to be released in August, and last time Interpol played Roskilde (2014) they played Arena stage, also just before the release of upcoming “El Pintor”.

The last time I saw them was in 2015, at the Uddevalla Solid Sound Festival. It was a, ehum, weird experience. Don’t get me wrong, the show was of course, objectively speaking, awesome, but the location was just off. The festival organizers did a great job that year with their lineup, booking Swedish main acts like Thåström, Veronica Maggio, Amason, Little Jinder, Familjen along with Interpol and Dizzie Rascal. Ambitions like that should be favored, but for Interpol it must have been their smallest show in many years, and the audience contained perhaps 300 persons on a pretty large field, and out of the 300 there were perhaps 20 superfans and 280 innoncent bystanders. Kudos to Interpol that were professional and put on a great show, but it was just a bit weird.

The contrasts were thus vast compared at the Roskilde show. They played Orange stage at 19.00, in front of perhaps 20-30,000 persons. On stage they are now five, including remaining original members Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler and Sam Fogarino, and touring members Brian Truax and Brandon Curtis. This constellation has played for a while now, and it is clear how tight they nowadays are. Banks and Kessler throw guitar riffs back and forward, and Fogarinos extremely calibrated and tight drum-patterns forges together nicely.

They open the set with “Not Even Jail”, followed by “All the Rage Back Home” and “C’mere”. It is a setlist heavily looking backwards and with six tracks from “Antics” it might say something about their feelings about the latest releases, perhaps. The album is a fan favorite, and after touring debut album “Turn on the Bright Lights” for a few years, putting most of those tracks on hold for a bit, along with preparing for the new ones, might be a great move. It gives the opportunity to revisit all albums at least, but interestingly enough, the first single from upcoming “Marauder”, “The Rover”, fit nicely into the set and stands tall against previous rock bangers and it actually takes me a moment to realize it´s a new song. The crowd seems to be really into it.

Interpol might also be the best-dressed band on the planet, objectively of course, all dressed in black and nuances of grey. However, Banks white sunglasses might be a bit odd in the context, just as was his hat in Uddevalla. Well, I dress like shit myself, so who am I to judge?

The “Antics” hits “Evil” and fan favorite “Slow Hands” ends the show before the encore in a superb man. ner, and encore “Lights” sounds so massive and great, it´s on of those growers (but also showers actually, which is rare) that builds up to a magnificent crescendo. Great ending to a great show!

Photo: Martin Wilson and DJ Pappaledig

About Dick Magnusson

Energy researcher and semi-proud owner of probably the largest collection of Placebo-records in Sweden. Spins wax, or rather clicks MP3s, under the name DJ Pappaledig. Former concert promoter that loves festivals and listens way too much on indie rock (by choice) and children’s music (well, at least by someone’s choice…).