Thursday night at The Palace Theater was a veritable smorgasbord of musical virtuosos. Promoting the release of their upcoming 2022 album, The Other Side Of Make-Believe, Interpol took to North America to promote their new material, joined by solo act Matthew Dear and downtempo chill rock heroes Tycho supporting. Between the three of them, the lineup had a little something for every kind of musical fan. From the self-produced, individualistic electronica performance from Matthew Dear, to the summery shimmery melodies of downtempo chill act Tycho, to the brooding, pulsating melancholy of Interpol, the artists that night thoroughly covered the sonic spectrum and created an unforgettable atmosphere that fans won’t soon forget.

Matthew Dear opened the show – Dear has run the indie electronic circuit from some time. His gritty, earthy bass cascades around the room as Dear’s soulful, repeating vocals dance upon the maelstrom he constructs. Music presented by someone playing all instruments by themself is always a magical experience, and Dear’s live music is no different. Operating all instruments by himself (primary loops, guitar, and singing), Dear constructs a huge, booming sound that gets inside your head and is incredibly difficult to get out. It creates this wonderfully personal persona, this feeling that when seeing him perform that you are really seeing a soul bared directly to the audience, in a way that is more difficult to capture with bands with many members onstage. 

Tycho followed Matthew Dear, and they are similar in the sense that the music is primarily composed by multi-instrumentalist Scott Hansen (who, when playing live, sticks to his enormous keyboard). Tycho has always been a favorite of my own for easy listening. Hansen has a way of tapping into a sort of inner peace when composing his music, light airy guitar lines floating over the top of crystal clear keyboards that really bring to mind perfect memories of summer. Live, Hansen and session/live musicians present completely as he sounds on records – perfectly and effortlessly light, sparkling guitar lines dancing across the beautiful venue and mesmerizing all in attendance. Though Tycho hasn’t released new material lately, their music has a way of sounding new and immersive live. I’ve heard Awake at least a hundred of its millions of plays on Spotify, and it still sounded brand new to me live. They played a huge variety of newer and older material, sticking with quite a few tracks off of Awake but balancing it out.

Tycho’s Setlist: Glider | Apogee | Slack | Weather | Awake | Epoch | A Walk | Ascension | Rings | Hours | Division

Finally, around 9:15, Interpol emerged onstage. Bathed only in strong beams from above, they begin the set silhouetted from behind, encased in shadow as the music slowly built to a swell. This moody presentation perfectly fit the arty rocksters, who would go on to play for well over an hour and cover the lengths of their 20+ year discography. The NYC legends will be releasing their newest album Other Side Of Make-Believe later this year (in July), and they played the two singles they’ve thus far released (Toni & Something Changed) as well as a few newer tracks that are sure to please those Interpol diehards out there. Interpol are one of those bands that seem to have a keen belief in the marriage of sound and light, as their explosive and moody lighting design created an enveloping experience that perfectly matched their atmospheric but personal style of rock. Lights danced across the Palace Theater as Interpol moved from on mid tempo rock anthem to the next, finally closing out the end of their evening with a trio of encore songs, mostly notably fan favorite Slow Hands to tie the show tight with a ribbon.

Interpol’s Setlist: Untitled | Evil | Fables | If You Really Love Nothing | Take You on a Cruise | Pioneer to the Falls | Narc | Toni | Something Changed | Obstacle 1 | All the Rage Back Home | Rest My Chemistry | Into the Night | NYC | The Rover | The New | C’mere ENCORE: Lights | Leif Erikson | Slow Hands

Matthew Dear