Interpol Horseshoe, Toronto ON — September 28, 2002

NYC's next great hype has already let press buzz swell their coifed heads. The uncomfortably packed house waited ages for the lads to finish playing pool, and when they finally decided to amble their suits over to the stage, it was to churn out their brand of atmospheric early '80s post-punk in an apathetic manner. The rhythm section got into it somewhat, with bassist Carlos D and drummer Sam Fogarino working up a sweat. But singer Paul Banks lackadaisically droned out his best Ian Curtis impression into an over-used vocoder and provided an almost taciturn between-song personage. To the band's credit, their set was polished smooth and their songs sounded almost as good live as they do on the album. But you may as well have enjoyed their impressive Turn On the Bright Lights in the comfort of your own home. The most frustrating part about Interpol's anti-show is that you can tell a spark is in there, as evidenced by their kicking out the jams in speedy numbers like "Roland" and "Say Hello To the Angels." Perhaps the media-frenzied boys are simply worn out. Or maybe it's an aloof, "cooler-than-thou" attitude that's holding back the live wire in Interpol's show. If you're so concerned with what's fashionable, pretension is so 1983. But you're into that year, aren't you?