Notes from the Jeff'y 2004/2005 Concert Series

I like Interpol. I like Interpol in concert. The first time I saw them, at the Hammerstein Ballroom back in, say, November, they really rocked. They played a long set and the place was small enough I had good seats even from the top of the mezzanine. I saw them again last night at Radio City Music Hall and that show was not quite as good--not as long at least, and the acoustics in Radio City aren't as good as in Hammerstein for some reason. It's hard to complain too much about song selection at an Interpol concert because all their songs fundamentally sound the same (yes, I know that that's not true, but yes, I know it is).

The Pixies show back in... Decemeber? Whenever. That was my favourite show of the year. It was the first night of the weeklong set at the Hammerstein. I'm not the most knowledgeable Pixies fax, not being familiar with much beyond their Best Of album, and it so happened that that's all they played. Score.

The R.E.M. show back in October at Madison Square Garden was a disappointment. They did bust out a few of the songs that people (read: I) wanted to hear, like "Electrolite" and "Life and How to Live It" but it was mostly dreck from their new album. When I saw them back in 2003 promoting their greatest hits album it made for a much better show, and Michael Stipe even tried to play a bit of Interpol's "NYC" acoustic at the 2003 show, which is how I heard about Interpol in the first place.

The potentially magnificent New Year's Wilco/Flaming Lips show was a disappointment. The Flaming Lips put on a frenetic show, but it was limited to about an hour and with all their antics they got perhaps five songs in during their time on stage. Wilco came out with an obvious desire to piss the fuck out of everyone, playing four different songs each with five-plus minutes of guitar noise before midnight, and then playing six covers of songs that no one wanted to hear after midnight. The show ended at 1:30am but most people had gotten tired of what amounted to a cover band and left well before that.


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