A sense of eerie quiet descends over a full house for Interpol’s first of a three night residency in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre. The band take to the stage and the volume kicks in – a little bit.
‘Say Hello to the Angels’ from their debut record is met with a bout of ear-squinting. That’s unless you happen to be directly under the balcony right in the middle. The sweet spot. Here the audience revel in a strong opener from a great album, the rest of us experience the muffled doom-sound of a flatmate who leaves the door open while air-guitaring.
‘Anywhere’ and ‘My Blue Supreme’ from the band’s 2014 album ‘El Pintor’ are followed by bone-fide indie-disco classic: ‘Evil’.
With the sound still lacking there is a sense that we are watching a nearly-great gig. Paul Banks signals for more volume between most of the first six songs but this seems to fall on deaf ears too.
‘Rest My Chemistry’ is the first stand-out moment of the night. The volume knob mercifully located, this highlight from their underrated third album ‘Our Love to Admire’ allows them to connect with the Olympia crowd fully. ‘I haven’t slept for two days’ sing the crowd, forgetting the cheeky forty winks allowed by the muted first half hour here.
The excellent ‘Breaker 1’ is next from latest release, ‘El Pintor’, and shows a band that has rediscovered the creative spark that electrified their first two albums.
The main set ends with ‘Narc’, ‘Not Even Jail’ and ‘Slow Hands’ from 2004’s career best – ‘Antics ’. Here the band are at their finest and the crowd responds with a sing-a-long that is the perfect antidote for the predominately thirty-something, post-Dryanuary crowd.
These live versions are embellished to by subtle tempo changes as Sam Fogarino flirts with some ‘not my tempo’ styles that Terrence Fletcher would not appreciate.
Rather than return with a version of ‘Whiplash’, Interpol elicit a raucous welcome back onstage for the first of two encores with a storming version of P.D.A – the highlight of the night.
Finally the ‘Untitled’ opening track off their debut album gets an airing and sends everybody off happy. Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler reproduce the muggy guitar-swirl that got us all interested in the first place.
The hits are mixed with tracks from the return-to-form ‘El Pintor’ to give Interpol their strongest set-list yet. The sound issues at the start of tonight’s gig will surely be ironed out by the second night. Not to be missed.
They play the Olympia on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 February. You can get tickets here.