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On the Scene: Liars and Interpol in Atlanta

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Liars_lGeneral admission shows can be hit or miss for me. Since I’m a tad short, they are mostly miss, like at the Pixies, where all I saw were some heads bopping around on the stage. But the Interpol/Liars show, that took place at the Tabernacle in Atlanta on Friday, was different. I was able to head up into one of the balconies and nab some prime seats to the left of the stage. Complete with my $6 Heineken, I was ready to rock out… even if the crowd reminded me of all the kids in high school and college who made fun of me.

Liars (pictured) took the stage around 8:15 and — excuse my language — rocked the f— out of the place. I had to slam in my earplugs to prevent from going deaf. Leader Angus Andrew showed some balls, coming out clad head-to-toe in white, but drummer Julian Gross one-upped him, walking out in what looked like a full-body union suit with a crazy sailor top. They jumped right into their harsh post-punk sound, akin of Suicide, the Birthday Party and the Fall. Live, this translates into a manic and chaotic scene with Andrew spasmodically twitching and kicking while strutting about the stage. And they seriously turned out the machine-gun drumming with Gross and Aaron Hemphill simultaneously attacking the skins. They stuck with mostly new tracks but closed out their set with the haunting ballad “The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack.” I’m pissed at myself for not accidentally losing control of my leg when the dude sitting in front of me booed after one of their songs. Making contact with his head would have totally made my night. If you haven’t experienced the Liars (who are touring in support of their new self-titled album), you are definitely missing out on some the most inventive rock currently available.

addCredit(“Liars: Antonio Pagano/Retna”)

After they finished their set, it was 30 minutes of waiting before Interpoltook the stage. It had been ages since I heard a crowd scream so loudlyfor a band (this just doesn’t happen in NYC) that I thought I was at asporting event. They started out with “Pioneer to the Falls,” which wasmore than brilliant. But to be honest, Interpol is Interpol, and live,every song sounded exactly the same as on their albums. I like my liveshows with more spontaneity — don’t just replicate what’s on the record(I can do that at home). What they failed to do was make the eveningmemorable. I know I’m in the minority, based on the sold out crowd whoseemed to know the words to every song. Major kudos to the dude withlong hair in the Pixies shirt on the floor, who kept me mesmerizedduring Interpol’s otherwise lackluster set. He seriously brought it. Ithink if I were standing next to him, his enthusiasm would have rubbedoff on me. I mean, I wasn’t even flipping out when they ended theirencore with “PDA” — one of the best songs… ever.

While Interpol were decent, albeit a tad boring live for my tastes,you can’t go wrong checking out this show (the tour ends Oct. 23 inLA). Go to dance with the sound guy for Liars, who actually got intothe music, as opposed to Interpol’s sound guys who stood at the boardlooking, uh, bored.