Interpol Kool Haus, Toronto ON - September 28, 2005

After silencing sceptics with their superb second album last year, Interpol are on a real high, selling out this show long before the day of performance. On tour supporting the re-release of Antics (now with a bonus disc!), the men in black brought a rather typical yet delectable stage show to the Toronto audience. Entering the stage to a barrage of beaming bright lights, the fashionable four kicked things off with the distinctive Spector-esque organ and tambourine/drums combo of Antics opener "Next Exit." "Slow Hands" thrilled the excited concertgoers from the first strike of Daniel Kessler's hand on his guitar. The song's buoyant beat built a groove for those looking to dance - and there were plenty. The first half of the set relied on almost their entire sophomore album, but as time went on they began to dig into their debut, dropping the sombre, so Joy Division it hurts, "Leif Erikson" and their best song to date, the duelling guitar masterwork "Obstacle 1." Though they hardly uttered a word, there's something mesmerising about watching this austere group get onstage and do their routine. The dark to blindingly bright lighting emphasised the music's bleakness, and their stage presence, though kept to some minimal movements, is what stars are made of. Lurching bassist Carlos Dengler swings his instrument like a real axe, looking sharp in his gothic holster accessory; Kessler's timely motions exhibit his subdued passion; Sam Fogarino, all hidden in the back, moves accordingly to his sturdy beats; and Paul Banks, the least dynamic of the four, maintains his leadership mainly by holding his ground and moving forward and backwards when necessary. Coming out for an encore consisting solely of material from Turn on the Bright Lights, Interpol proved that sometimes all you need is a little substance with the style to pull off a great gig.