(PCM) Interpol graced the River Stage at the Great Plaza of Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing on Saturday night, playing to an enthusiastic, if not frustrated and slightly confused, crowd of grateful fans who were eager to bask in the steady bass and moody melodies of the NYC-based indie band.
The confusion and frustration arose when the concert, originally scheduled for the larger stage at Penn’s Landing Festival Pier with a start time of 8pm, was moved down the street to the smaller venue of the River Stage at Penn’s Landing with a start time of 7:20pm.
A last-minute announcement was made on the official Facebook page of The Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing around 10:00am Saturday morning, stating that the show had been moved to the River Stage due to “some unexpected site maintenance” taking place at Festival Pier with tickets being honored at the door. The post also announced that the show would start at 7:20pm, even though tickets for the show stated a start time of 8:00pm.
An email notifying ticket holders of the changes also went out Saturday morning, but many fans were left in the dark, leaving those who arrived around the original start time expecting the opening band to be playing/wrapping up, only to discover that the concert was well under way, sorely disappointed and upset.
Several angry fans left comments on the Facebook post, expressing their dissatisfaction with the venue change and the last-minute manner in which it was announced, while other fans were grateful for the smaller venue and the opportunity to see the critically acclaimed band in a more intimate setting.
Time and venue changes aside, Interpol put on a great, albeit somewhat short, show for the faithful fans in attendance.
The poorly announced time change meant that the GA area for the River Stage was only about half-way full when Interpol took the stage, which also means that the opening band, Cosmicide (Brandon Curtis, formerly of The Secret Machines), must have played to a dishearteningly small crowd after taking the stage a whole forty minutes before the originally announced start time.
Unaware of the change, I rolled up to the concert around 8:15pm and was surprised to hear cheers from the audience already greeting Interpol as they took the stage and opened with “Say Hello to the Angels.”
Without much ado, the band continued to roll through song after song while monochromatic projections played in the background, receiving just as many cheers for classic crowd favorites like “Evil” and “Slow Hands” as for the singles off of the band’s latest album, El Pintor: “Anywhere,” “Everything is Wrong,” and “All the Rage Back Home,” which opened the encore.
More head-bobbing than all-out dancing took place but the energy was palpable and the audience’s enthusiasm for the show was evident as they song along to every song and threw their hands up every time lead singer Paul Banks took a moment to thank the crowd for their attendance.
Interpol killed it, playing a decent amount of both Turn on the Bright Lights and Antics and hitting a few songs from Our Love to Admire (including my personal favorite, “Rest My Chemistry”) which is why it was disappointing when they exited the stage for the first time around 9:20pm, about an hour or so into the set.
After a few minutes of the audience’s eagerly cheering for an encore, Interpol re-emerged, opening with “All the Rage Back Home” before playing “Untitled” and ending the night with “Obstacle 1.”
Overall, Interpol put on a great concert at the relatively small River Stage, pleasing the crowd but definitely leaving us wanting more. See here for the night’s complete set list.
10/10 would see again.