Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Tonight I decided to give something new a try, something I wasn't familiar with or have any opinions about. I noticed that a band called Interpol was playing at the Ryman, and tickets were practically being given away on Craigslist, so I got one and went down there.

The opening band came out and looked terrified and played like it was their first show at Jammin' Java. They never said their name, or anything else for that matter, so I spent the majority of their set thinking of names they could be called. I came up with Follow The Sampler, The Naps, 2 Wimps And A Somber Chick, One Chord Is Enough, Whine And Cheese, and The Statue Makers. By the time they were done, the place was like a library. Their monotone boring songs all sounded the same, and none of them rocked.

Finally, after an eternal changeover, Interpol came out to an ovation from a half full Ryman audience comprised of teenagers, parents with teenagers, excited girlfriends, and bored but hopeful boyfriends. My first impression of this band was something like this: if the Cure cuddled up on a rainy night and watched Grey's Anatomy with half of the members of Arcade Fire, this is what it would sound like. By the 5th or 6th song, (opening band included) I was totally over the way every single song started with ambient guitar noise. This was the recipe for the songs all night. Ambient noise, then basic, predictable chord progression and whiny "The rain is gone, the sun is back" lyrics. It's too bad the 8th grader that seemingly wrote all the bass lines couldn't make it to play this show, but his replacement did a good job of keeping up. The rest of the band were an energy black hole all night, standing and moping around with little to no stage presence. All except for the lead guitarist that is. He looked like he had bogarted all of the coffee back stage. Of course with these guys it was probably more like a soy chai low fat mocha espresso latte. Anyway, this lack of enthusiasm seemed to translate directly to the meager audience, who mostly sat still in the pews. Even the few "wild" ones that stood for the show stood still, maybe throwing a head bob in every now and then.

About hour in, I'd had enough. They started another song with ambient noise and I just couldn't take it anymore. I guess if I had gone to high school and broken up with my lab partner on the day before prom I might have been more into this band. It really did have a strong high school-y feel to it. Parents chaperoning, and little hug parties breaking out in the empty sections of the Church when the boppers would find their particular cliques. On my way out, I came across two guys who might have been, definitely looked like the Black Keys, ironically the last band I walked out on at the Ryman, telling the ticket taker they were "on the list". That was probably the most entertaining moment of my night.


  1. that's disappointing to hear that interpol was lacking energy. i haven't heard their new stuff and have never seen them live, but i would have thought they put on a good show.

    i guess it has been about 5 years since i bought any of their albums...

    oh, and The Naps is my favorite.

  2. wow... i haven't read a kemp review this beautifully scathing since the days of J-Po. good work. i laughed and i cried (from laughing). well done sir. well done.