TVD Live Shots: Interpol at Echostage, 7/28

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Nestled on a seedy DC street is one of the area’s biggest clubs, Echostage. Generally a spot known for EDM, there has recently been an uptick in rock shows circulating through. On Tuesday night, Interpol lit up the mega club ripping through their set as one of the best rock bands to come to DC this summer. The band members do not put on a big spectacle in the performance. Clad in all black, the focus is drawn to the music as opposed to the musicians, yet they managed to put on an energetic and electric show.

Known for monotone vocals and heavy, staccato basslines, Interpol has been a staple in the American alt-rock scene for 15 years. Founded in New York in 1997, they are touring the US and Europe this summer to promote their fifth album, El Pintor. This is the band’s first tour without founding member, bassist Carlos Dengler, and although his decision to split from the band left a hole in the album, the performance showed no sign of the loss.

Ever-serious frontman Paul Banks whirred through the hour and a half set to an increasingly excited crowd that went from head bobbing to all out jumping around. Songs from their 2004 album Antics, including “Evil” and “Slow Hands,” were undeniably the cause of most excitement, but the crowd remained relatively enthusiastic for the lesser known songs too.

Bright and intricate lighting swirled around throughout the show, flashing white and red so bright at times I wished I had sunglasses. When the band first began the background was simply the album cover of El Pintor, but after about three songs it began to warp into entrancing graphics that were almost a show in and of themselves. While Interpol is not exactly a lively bunch, their sound and production could have easily filled an arena and certainly shook the large DC venue.

Interpol was selling El Pintor on vinyl as well as a Record Store Day 7” at their merch table.

The opening band, Coscmicide, seemed to be unfamiliar to most in attendance. It is the recently formed project of former Secret Machines leader Brandon Curtis, who also played keyboard for nine of the ten tracks on El Pintor. Curtis whisper-sang through the set of keyboard driven grunge.

Although most of their songs are yet to be released, they certainly picked up some fans during the half hour.

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