The Interpol/Liars show last night was AWWWWESSSOOOOMMMEEE! (emphasis mine) The show was supposed to be at a new HOB venue in the Warehouse district called "The Sugar Mill," which is the same location as the woefully underused Tipitinas "Ruins." The outdoor venue proved unsuitable for the wet weather, so the show was moved to the regular House of Blues location. It didn't strike me until a few songs into their set that it really was quite a treat that it was moved. After all, I saw them play on the same stage no less than 5 years ago, which predated their atmospheric popularity by a couple years. Back in the days of Twiropa yore, they sold out the big room and sounded horrible. Last night was intimate, tight, not overcrowded, and sounded fantastic.
The surprise of the evening for me was how much I enjoyed Liars. Let me back up a little. I was obsessed with their first album, but they didn't make it to NOLA for a show until shortly after their second came out. It was widely regarded as one of the most overcrowded shows ever to grace the now departed Mermaid Lounge. They played nothing from the first album and generally just made noise for an hour and a half. Maybe I was just in a bad mood, but I was disappointed at the time, and wrote them off as victims of their own creativity and hype. That was a mistake. I never listened to 2006's Drum's Not Dead
, and I ignored their latest album entirely. Last night changed everything. The whole schtick where a band puts an extra floor tom and snare drum with the snares thrown off on stage and plays a tom-heavy beat during one or two songs has always seemed a little trite to me, but on further reflection, every time I've seen it done it has been incredible. I shall wax nostalgic about the time when Mexico 1910 asked me to do the same thing at their final Mermaid Lounge show, which escalated to the point where nearly everyone in attendance had grabbed a drum stick, piece of wood, or anything else they could get their hands on, and banged the shit out of anything in sight for about 10 minutes straight. My point is, people love a good beat more than anything else, and when it comes to percussion, more isn't always better, but it sure is fun. It made me smile during the entire performance last night, and has got me listening to the last two Liars records right now with the same big smile.