Shaky Knees 2019: Interpol
Shaky Knees 2019: The Enduring Influence of Interpol
By Jordan Smith
The years between 2000 and 2011 proved to be some of the most important ones for New York City. In the midst of what seemed like a rock n’ roll revolution, bands like The Strokes, Bloc Party, LCD Soundsystem and Interpol contributed to a pop culture renaissance that is still tangible in their music today, although it may now induce more nostalgia than enlightenment.
Compared to the New York punk movement decades earlier, this period is much tamer, but more well-rounded – think less power chords and more reverb. More than anything it built upon and (in some ways) improved what was already there – a revival.
But this word, in my book, is one that belongs almost solely to Interpol – post-punk revival, however divisive it may be, is their’s. Their 2002 debut Turn On The Bright Lights is a spokesperson for the genre, with atmospheric strumming and strange, ambiguous lyrics like the iconic line, “We have 200 couches where you can sleep tonight.”
But the band isn’t held captive by the legacy of their debut like other 2000s bands Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes. Performing tracks that span their 6-album career, fans and spectators held equal enthusiasm for the old and the new at the 2019 Shaky Knees performance.
As the years of the New York rock revival further themselves from us, the weight of the live performances increases. Their influence hangs high, and they possess an air of authority and responsibility over the crowd, calmly reminding old fans like myself how important they are.
Scheduled before the night’s headliner, Cage the Elephant, the 2000’s post-punk revivalists saw the last of Saturday’s sunshine, finishing just before the second wave of forecasted rain came in. With the weather fitting their cozy, nostalgic sound, the set was a high point of the day, sending thousands home to rediscover their discography and relive the never-ending influence of the 2000’s on rock.