Interpol seals Greek Theatre season with a kiss


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You could stand there Saturday night and marvel at the scant artistic progression Interpol has made since its second-wave post-punk milestone “Turn on the Bright Lights” came out in 2002, or you could join the delirious, black-clad masses in convulsing to the New York quintet’s every thunderous rhythm and guitar lick.

Or you go a step further, like male fans did on three occasions, and jump onstage to display your affection for singer Paul Banks, who apparently is the new Morrissey. One of the guys even landed a smooch on the cheek of the shocked frontman, who kept the relationship professional by not missing a word or note. It was the lightest moment of the night from dimly lit stage.

||| Photos by Laurie Scavo

Beyond that, the rousing finale to an excellent season of rock at the Greek Theatre consisted of Interpol flexing its muscle as a four-album, one-trick pony, their cathartic indie-rock being the horse they rode hard and put to bed wet. Beloved bassist Carlos Dengler is no longer in the band (which apparently was news to a few of the fans who showed up), but with bassist David Pajo (Slint) and keyboardist Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines) augmenting the core of Banks, guitarist Daniel Kessler and drummer San Fogarino, Interpol was none the weaker.

They hit their new material hard, and it was evident their self-titled September release had moved some units among the Greek attendees – “Success” and “Memory Serves” were greeted with big roars, and “Barricade” and “Lights” turned into sing-alongs. But songs such as “NYC” and “PDA,” now eight years old, carried more emotional heft, not for nostalgic reasons but because the New Yorkers’ earlier work, with its akilter guitar lines and hopeful melodies, possesses a grander dynamic. If Interpol on Saturday sounded like a band running in place, at least it’s a place that guarantees their fans’ continued embrace.

Openers White Rabbits gave early arrivals 45 minutes of dual-percussion thunder and occasionally memorable guitar and piano riffs. The Missouri-born, New York-based indie rockers, who recorded their 2009 album “It’s Frightening,” with Britt Daniel, bear Spoon’s influence, but with a few more songs like “Percussion Gun” they’ll be headlining joints like this.