Oct. 17, 2004

Interpol & Secret Machines Rock the Riv

By Randy J. Klodz

Two indie-style rock bands crashed through Chicago amongst the buzz that is New York City-based Interpol and emerging talent Secret Machines as both took the stage to a sold-out Riviera Theater on Oct. 17.

Not only do both Interpol and Secret Machines currently live in New York, the bands share the same live show credo in that both bands played in the shadows, and neither band said much more than “Thank you” between songs. But the lack of chit-chat was a benefit as both bands played one song after another, forming two tight sets.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, dream-rocking trio Secret Machines—which includes Ben Curtis (vocals/guitar), Brandon Curtis (bass/keyboards/vocals) and Josh Garza (drums)—warmed the stage for the early-arriving Interpol crowd.

Secret Machines wasted no time getting the crowd pumped with “First Wave Intact” the 9-minute first track off the band’s 2004 debut “Now Here is Nowhere,” a song the band ended with a powerful Josh Garza drum solo.

The head-nodding light-rock of “The Road Leads Where It’s Lead” fared well with the crowd, as Ben Curtis ended the song as he played his guitar by holding the neck of his guitar upright to his side with his left hand and strumming it with his right. Secret Machines ended its 45-minute set with band’s hit single “Nowhere Again,” a perfect end to a set filled with up-tempo rock. The Interpol faithful gave the supporting band a rousing applause, a rare feat for many bands not headlining. For more information on Secret Machines log on to www.thesecretmachines.com.

Interpol—which features Paul Banks (vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar), Carlos Dengler (bass) and Samuel Fogarino (drums)—made this its first Chicago stop on the first tour behind the recently-released “Antics,” which hit stores on Sept. 28.

Though Interpol weighed heavily on new “Antics” tracks such “Not Even Jail,” “No Exit,” “Public Pervert” and “Evil,” Interpol played a handful of hit selections from “Turn on the Bright Lights,” the 2002 debut album the band made famous by the band’s grindstone tour schedule.

Those favorites included “PDA,” “Obstacle 1” and “Leif Erikson” with “NYC” and its “It’s up to me now / Turn on the bright lights” lyric cueing the stage lighting to brighten the stage for the first time, for a short time. “PDA” featured a dramatic pause that sent the dedicated crowd into a frenzy.

Most of the band remained stoic on stage, aside from bassist Carlos Dengler (or Carlos D. as many call him), who bounced from place to place throughout each song of the set. Dengler also stood out in that he wore a long-sleeve black shirt, black pants, black goth-style boots and a red tie. Upon the end of the 60-minute set, Banks left the stage first as he waved politely to the crowd, following a rousing version of “Roland” that featured splashes of strobe light.

The current Interpol/Secret Machines tour is schedule to run through Nov. 11 when the tour hits New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Hail Social warmed the stage for both bands, but failed to grab the attention of those in attendance. For more information on Interpol log on to www.interpolny.com.

Interpol Photo: Samuel Kirsenbaum