Here’s the biggest reason I love Milwaukee: On Monday, I saw three awesome bands — Dappled Cities, Interpol (see lead singer Paul Banks’ photo above) and the Fratellis — in one night.
I shuttled to and from the Pabst Theater and the Rave to do so, but it wasn’t a hassle at all. No expensive parking to pay, no traffic, no sold-out crowds. Just pure, unadulterated musical bliss.
Dappled Cities (see photo below), whose album “Granddance” is one of the best I’ve heard this year, certainly was charming live. I don’t think Milwaukee crowds are normally that receptive to opening acts (especially since they played at 7:30 p.m.!), but the audience was amped enough to mill around the pit during their 30-minute set.
Afterward, I hustled over to the rave where Interpol was playing. I’ve seen Interpol live SIX times, which was why I chose to cover the Fratellis over Interpol. But Erika Bock (who was supposed to cover the show) wasn’t feeling well, so I figured it was a disservice to not go and see my ex-future husband, Paul Banks.
The thing about Interpol is, even though their sound hasn’t changed much through three albums, the band still produces excellent songs that stick in your head no matter what. They still perform intense live shows. There’s still something about them that gives people butterflies in their stomachs. And the light show at their concerts — which turn the members into dancing silhouettes — just adds to their mystique.
It was hot and muggy at the Rave, and it was so full that it took me a while to navigate through the crowd. The Rave was the smallest venue I’d ever seen Interpol in, so it gave me a goose-bumpy feeling of intense love to see the New Yorkers so close.
I never realized, for example, that Daniel Kessler plays so hard that his eyes are closed most of the time (see photo below). Or that Paul Banks has freckles and wears gold jewelry. Or that on Carlos D., a handlebar mustache is brooding and serious, unlike Colonel Sanders’.
After about 40 minutes and stellar selections from “Our Love to Admire” (they opened with “Pioneer To the Falls”), I figured I was going to get another chance to see Interpol this weekend at Lollapalooza. So I returned to the Pabst — but not before they played “Slow Hands” and “Obstacle 1” — two of my favorites from their previous albums.
While the Interpol crowd was rapt in attention (I saw more than one mouth hanging open throughout the show), by the time I got back to the fourth oldest theater in America, the Fratellis’ set was well into party mode, courtesy of the frat-boy-esque heavy crowd.
I got there at around 10 p.m., when the trio was playing “Henrietta,” their first single. Everyone was bouncing like mad around the pit or their chairs, and a few hooligans stage left would yell out the “doo-doo-doo” riff of the band’s hit, “Chelsea Dagger” IN BETWEEN EVERY SONG.
It got really annoying, especially since they did that during the opening acts’ sets as well. And the Fratellis obviously weren’t going to sing it until the very last possible moment. Still, it was helluva lot of fun til the very end. I was right too– “Chelsea Dagger” was the last song of the band’s encore. Booyah!