Written by Mike Duffy
Interpol’s much-anticipated set from Coachella’s main stage was just as much about the visual effects as it was the music, and that’s how the band kind of wanted it.
Heading into the massive festival, Interpol announced that they were teaming up with director David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive) to create an experience where “the observer becomes the observed,” and once that happens, “the performance explores the deepening layers of covert surveillance.”
The experiment took place in the second half of the show, as a cartoon played simultaneously alongside the dark “Evil,” a hit from Interpol’s second album, Antics.
Now touring on their fourth, the eponymous Interpol, the New York rockers came on at the prime spot in the day when the sun was falling over the California mountains. They definitely took advantage of it on other songs, as well.
As the sky darkened, the “Coachella” Stage’s two huge video boards showcased several eye-catching images, which were also repeated on huge screens behind Interpol’s guitarist Daniel Kessler, who played a Gretsch for most of the night, and bassist Brad Truax, who rocked a Fender P Bass.
During a packed-crowd favorite, the song “Barricade” was played with images of all three guitarists on the facades, swathed in a red tint and with Matrix-style numbers dropping down in red, the main color used throughout the visual affair.
But one of the biggest pops came when the opening chords of “Evil” were played. “Rosemary, heaven restores you in life/You’re coming with me now/Through the aging, the fearing, the strife.”
The younger crowd immediately rushed nearer to the stage to film their next YouTube video or host a personal viewing party.
It seems that the new-wave band that broke out to so much success in the early 2000s, only to drift to the back of the pack as the decade wore on, is now ready to stay insert themselves back in the forefront.
Given this day and digital age, Friday’s visually- and sonically-arresting performance has them on the right track.