Interpol/Rey Pila @ The Fox

09/22/2014

About a month ago, I checked out the upcoming shows at The Fox Theater and couldn’t believe how many awesome bands were coming through Oakland. I got the chance to see two of them on Saturday Night.

The opening band, Rey Pila, was such a pleasant surprise. I had never seen them live before and have only heard a few songs. They played their 80’s synth inspired music with lots of energy. I immediately recognized one of their singles, “Alexander,” as the lead singer (Diego Solórzano) made his way down the stage and into the photo pit where he sang in his deep David Bowie-like voice to the crowd and security crew. I enjoy watching bands interact with the crowd. It becomes this fun improvisational moment that few expect. Their fun stage presence and big sound made their first performance at The Fox Theater a good one.

On the other hand, Interpol was one of those bands where I wasn’t sure if I needed to see them live. They seemed like they would be a “too cool for school” type of band with feet glued to the stage and only their hands making any kind of movement. However, as a band that has been playing and staying relevant for over a decade, I should have known to expect more.

In a flood of red lights, I watched guitarist Daniel Kessler’s silhouette dance around the stage, moving his body with every hard strum for songs like “Slow Hand.” Lead singer Paul Banks’ powerful monotone voice hypnotized the audience. The classics, such as “Obstacle 1” and “Evil,” sounded perfect. They were there to impress. Songs from their new album El Pintor even had a polished sound. There is this consistency about Interpol that makes you appreciate what they have accomplished and gets fans really excited about their new projects. After almost 20 years of playing together, they still manage to be captivating.