Interpol / Q And Not U

Interpol / Q And Not U: live in Niagara Fallslive in Niagara Falls (2005)
Matador Records

Reviewer Rating: 5

Contributed by: LevitateMeLevitateMe
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ah, Interpol. What can you say about them? They wear expensive suits, the singer sounds just like Ian Curtis, the bass player looks kind of like Frankenstein. Uh...what else? Oh yeah...they're not punk. Thanks. I'm glad we got that out of the way. I was expecting this to be good: two of my favori.

Ah, Interpol. What can you say about them? They wear expensive suits, the singer sounds just like Ian Curtis, the bass player looks kind of like Frankenstein. Uh...what else? Oh yeah...they're not punk. Thanks. I'm glad we got that out of the way.

I was expecting this to be good: two of my favorite bands playing less than fifteen miles from the house I grew up in. It was better than I expected. We got there a little less than ninety minutes early; there were only about five people waiting at that time. It was freezing cold and they wouldn't let us in, even though Ticketmaster said we could go in an hour early. To pass the time I spoke with some "fashionistas" (their word) who had driven eight hours from New York City and tried to hold back my snickers. I guess that's the type of people you'd expect at an Interpol show. The show was at the Dome Theatre, a converted old night club, just minutes away from the Canada/US border. It was an interesting venue, with a balcony, elevated areas to the left and right and a bar running down the middle of the floor. I really liked it, and I'd definitely go back if anyone worth seeing plays there again. The wait was bad, but my promptness paid off. I was right up front and centre, the best seat in the house.

Everyone started to fill in; excitement was building. We were waiting for the first band, Q And Not U. I've always liked them, always thought they were good and not great, but that they had potential and we haven't seen the best of them yet. Underwhelmingly, the band members would sporadically come on stage and arrange things. No one really knew if it was them or not; there was a smattering of applause each time, and I'd agree that it was hard to tell. Chris Richards did disguise himself with a hat, glasses, and many scarves at that time. When everything was finally set up, they picked up their instruments and proceeded to blow us all away. They opened with "Tag-Tag," then "Wet Work," two of the better songs off their latest album Power. The sound was really tight, especially John Davis' drums, which were outstanding. The crowd was a little unresponsive at first, but then Chris reminded us that "this is dancing music, and if you feel it in your legs then go with it." He was definitely leading by example. They played more from Power like "Wonderful People," "Book Of Flags," and "X-Polynation" and busted out favorites like "Soft Pyramids," "So Many Animal Calls," "Black Plastic Bag," and "A Line In The Sand." One thing I was impressed with was the constant switching of instruments. Both Chris and Harris Klahr played guitar, bass, synth, as well as sharing the singing duties. A few times they'd even trade instruments in the middle of a song. Chris also played some sort of little piano thing that you had to blow into as well; if it has a name, I don't know it. The only bad things were that the microphones were a little quiet, so you couldn't really hear the vocals (that may have been their intention though), they didn't play "LAX," and Chris' political rant about five songs in. He picked up a copy of the Buffalo News and read us part of an article about George W. Bush's plan for arctic drilling being rejected or something; it wasn't really clear, and reminded us (the mostly Canadian audience) that "this guy is around for four more years, but he's not a juggernaut." All in all it was a great performance; they got everyone moving and surely made some new fans. I'd highly recommend catching them if you can.

Now, Interpol is a classy band, surely we can all agree on that. The suits, the haircuts, come on. Their fans don't fall short in that department either. The suspense seemed to be killing everyone, and we all have different ways of showing that, I suppose. Some people were clapping, stomping, and chanting. Some were discussing songs that they hoped to be played: "If they don't play 'Take You On A Cruise' I'll cry," that sort of thing. Some were pissing on the floor. Yes, that's right. Two guys whipped 'em out right there and pissed on the floor and, I'd assume, the people in their general vicinity. Classy. It caused quite a commotion, as nobody wanted their suit to be ruined or hair messed up. But the culprits were eventually found and kicked out.

Interpol finally came out and the crowd exploded with applause. Sam Fogarino, Daniel Kessler, and Paul Banks all waved and said thanks. The only member who seemed to hold the band's supposed arrogance was bass player Carlos D., who was wearing knee-high leather boots and a gun holster, and didn't look one member of the audience in the eye the whole show. They opened with "Next Exit," but that was just to set the mood, and followed with "Slow Hands" and "NARC" next. All of the instruments were right on, especially Carlos' bass. He was definitely rocking out and posing for the photographer who was taking pictures during the first three songs. Interpol has quite an amazing light show at their shows, which created a really great atmosphere and I'm sure made for some great photographs. Paul's vocals were crystal clear and soaring, nothing like Q And Not U. The guitars were also much more noticeable, compared to the more rhythm section-based sound they have on their albums. They played all of the fan favorites like "Evil," "Take You On A Cruise," "Leif Eriksson," and "PDA." Just about everything off of their latest album Antics was played. The band seemed to be having fun, smiling and talking to each other a lot. Carlos gave Sam the finger at one point. The highlights of the performance were the highly energetic "Say Hello To The Angels" and "Evil," which got one of the biggest crowd responses. They also played a three-song encore. The only bad thing was that they didn't play my three favorite songs. I saw the set list and they were planning to play "Roland" (my favorite), but throughout the night, especially during the encore, everyone was chanting "Stella," so they talked it over and finished with "Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down," which I have to admit was pretty great. They waved goodbye after that, and Sam threw his drumsticks into the audience and I got one. Q And Not U were quite an act to follow, but Interpol blew away their amazing performance. Maybe on the albums they sound a little sterile, but live they're just so powerful and energetic. They're one of the best live bands I've ever seen, and this was one of my favorite shows ever.

Set list:

  • Next Exit
  • Slow Hands
  • NARC
  • Length Of Love
  • Say Hello To The Angels
  • Public Pervert
  • Not Even Jail
  • Leif Eriksson
  • Evil
  • NYC
  • Take You On A Cruise
  • PDA
  • The Specialist
  • Obstacle 1
  • Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
LevitateMe (March 17, 2005)

This was my first time seeing them, but everyone that I spoke with who had seen them before said that this was the best Interpol performance they had ever seen. Despite what some people say, this place was small, so maybe they do sound better in smaller venues. But everyone thought they were really great, not just decent.

Anonymous (March 16, 2005)

i know that this persons intitled to his own opinion but these guys are awful live. living in nyc ive seen them numerous times and they were decent in the smaller setting such as bowery ballroom, but decent became bad at hammerstein and that became utterly awful at radio city music hall. their live act certainly doesnt live up to their recordings

Anonymous (March 16, 2005)

they played in nia. falls because thats the biggest venue in the greater buffalo region.

LevitateMe (March 15, 2005)

"huh? "

I think "they" means those two songs

LevitateMe (March 15, 2005)

sorry Brian. I read it wrong the first time and was over zealous

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

"I think Interpol is an ok band, but Joy Division would have wiped the floor with them"

Interpol is lame as hell. Joy Division is one of the greatest bands of all time and my favorite.

so, fuck Interpol. and fuck you, Ian Curtis for killing yourself and making the world lose a true visionary soul.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

hello!?! mcfly?!?! is anybody home?!?! think, mcfly, think!!

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

" I never really liked this band much but they are awesome"


right on with the Crispin Glover comment, Carlos IS George McFly.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

am i the only one who thinks interpol fucking sucks?
score is for the REAL interpol

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

Evil and Slow Hands are both great songs, I never really liked this band much but they are awesome.


Anchors (March 15, 2005)

I was supposed to see Q And Not U the night I got back from Florida a few weeks back. Then I sort of got delayed in the Tampa airport for oh about... 6 hours.

This review makes me want to send United Airways a letterbomb.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

i agree, amazing show.
q and not u had me in a groove, interpol put me in the most incredible daze and i felt as if i was high.

oh, i found out that piano thing you blow into is called a melodica. originally i had thought it was a large pan flute

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

this tours coming on friday and i wasnt sure if i wanted to spend $30 including ticketmaster charges, but after reading this i can't wait

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

very nice review. interpol is outstanding.

inagreendase (March 15, 2005)

Some of those lines don't make sense anymore?

Name 'em. All I did was fix some of your punctuation, essentially.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

It's called a melodica

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

that thing you blow in is a mellotron i do believe.

BrandonSideleau (March 15, 2005)

I've said it before but it must be said.....I think Interpol is an ok band, but Joy Division would have wiped the floor with them. Secondly Q & Not U really rock, one of the few bands of their genre that I like.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

This would be such an awesome tour to watch. I can't believe they didn't play Obstacle No. 2 or The New (they are my 2 favourite Interpol songs). Seeing Stella and Evil live would be worth the price of admission though. Great band


Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

I was at the show and the entire upstairs smelled like pot. Which set me to thinking, boy 8th grade sure was fun.

Good show though. The Q and not U singer is a good dancer and super nice guy.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

PDA is such a good song.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

Baaaaby, my heart's been breaking.........

c'mere is great as well

LevitateMe (March 15, 2005)

The New is one of my three favorites that they didn't play. Roland (as I mentioned) and C'mere are the others.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

too bad they didn't play The New

stevejonestherealbones (March 15, 2005)

wet works and wonderful people are the only two songs that i really really really like off power...the rest is ok, but i usually skip em when they come up on my itunes

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

LevitateMe (March 15, 2005)

You know, you're right. I wish I would've thought of that. But he is really big and gawky, so kind of like Frankenstein too.

Anonymous (March 15, 2005)

the bassist does not look like frankenstein. he looks friggin' EXACTLY like crispin glover. it freaks me out.

TheOneTrueBill (March 15, 2005)

"Fuck Interpol - We Wear Suits Because We're Lawyers"


LevitateMe (March 15, 2005)

I can't think of any either. I think this was just because they didn't want to or couldn't play in Canada for some reason

adam (March 15, 2005)

Wow is it weird to see "live in Niagara Falls" here. I don't know what it's like on the US side, but I was born and raised on the Canadian side and I can't remember the last show that I saw in the city. Hell I can't think of any, we'd always have to go to St. Catharines.


LevitateMe (March 15, 2005)

What's with the editing? Some of those lines don't make sense anymore?

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