Interpol with Twin Tigers and The Postelles at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY 8/6/2010

The Clifton Park show was bittersweet for me. I had SUCH a good time at the Interpol shows this summer, and I knew Clifton Park would be my last for a while. Even more than that, I knew that it would be my last time seeing Twin Tigers on the tour, and I feel like we became friends. I know when I’ll see Interpol again; with Twin Tigers I’m less sure. They’re a band with a lot of potential and they’ve done a lot of touring, so they’ll get up here eventually… But anyway, I knew it would be weird to say goodbye to everyone and it was a bit.

After the late night in Boston on Thursday I was pretty wiped out on Friday and had much to do. We would be heading down to Pennsylvania for a family visit immediately after the Clifton Park show, and in addition to needing to get myself ready for the show and to take pictures I had to pack and try to get the house together for our trip. It was a little bit of a struggle, but I managed to get on the road in time to make it to the venue just after doors opened.

I was on the guestlist in Clifton Park, and my photo pass for the night was actually labelled an all-access pass—though there was a note with it that specifically forbid me from photographing Interpol’s set. Alas. Northern Lights is a weird venue. It’s in what looks like an old strip mall kind of in the middle of nowhere. The stage is back in a corner and seems like it was just sort of dropped in the space. There’s a large bar that takes up almost half of the venue, and the whole place has an odd atmosphere (or lack thereof). There was a bathroom attendant—at least in the women’s room. My memory of the place is that all the walls were painted blue, there were glass doors at the back through which we could see the bands and crew walking past in between their sets, and the place was really cold. Whereas at some shows I end up sweating and frizzy, at this show I was very glad I’d grabbed a cardigan at the last minute. They had the a/c cranked the whole night. It just added to the weirdness of the night for me.

Some of Interpol’s gear was off to the left of the stage in crates and I could see labels on various drawers… things like “Paul’s strings,” “Daniel’s strings and cords,” and then a drawer labeled simply (if I’m not misremembering it) “Shite.”

The Postelles The Postelles at Northern Lights.

The PostellesThe Postelles at Northern Lights.

The Postelles
The Postelles at Northern Lights.

Even in this relatively little venue there was a tiny photo pit. I managed to photograph The Postelles’ entire set. I think I was only supposed to do three songs, but there was another photographer shooting them and he just kept going, so I did, too. The reception for The Postelles was a sharp turn from the reaction they enjoyed the previous night. People clapped politely but briefly after each of their songs, and their perky singer seemed to be almost apologizing for everyone’s lack of familiarity with them and with their music. Before launching into one song, he said, “This is a new one,” and then paused and said “but everything is new to you.” They played with their usual verve, but it was clear that they had to work for it.

beerTwin Tigers, running with the devil (a.k.a. Hoo-ray beer).

When Twin Tigers came out on stage, I wonder if I was the first person ever in the history of the world to feel a tiny bit sad to hear the opening notes of Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil.” They played well, and while it wasn’t as amazing as the previous night in Boston, I think they sounded good and a decent portion of the audience got into what they were doing. I photographed the first three songs of their set and then took my spot up front behind the barrier.

ForrestForrest Hall of Twin Tigers.

AimeeAimee Morris of Twin Tigers.

TTTwin Tigers.

Interpol’s set was really tight, but seemed to go by so quickly. My friends agreed that it felt short. The band played very well, but it felt business-like. During the encore, one song blended right into the next. The setlist was a good one. We got “Mammoth” instead of “The Heinrich Maneuver” and a beautifully played “Leif Erikson,” which I had not yet heard on this tour. During “Leif” I exchanged a nice little look of recognition with Daniel. I tried to take some pictures with my phone. It was kind of pathetic, really. Their lighting was pretty easy as far as concerts go, and the stage was on the small side so I could have managed a lot of nice shots. After the encore as they were leaving the stage both Daniel and Sam nodded, smiled, and waved at me. That was sweet! It was like they knew that this would be my last show for a while.

Afterwards my friends and I went over to the merch table to say hi to the Twin Tigers people. They were busy with merch boxes and stuff, but we chatted a little bit. As the venue was kind of out of the way, they were trying to figure out where to go to do something. I couldn’t hang around long as we were heading out for Pennsylvania, so I couldn’t help them with their plans for the night. I bought a copy of their album, Gray Waves (on blue vinyl!) and had them all sign it for me. Matthew wrote me a little message, signed the inner sleeve, and then signed on Aimee’s behalf since she had once again disappeared.

I looked up and through the windows at the front of the venue and saw Ezra standing there. I thought I was supposed to call him, but it was going on midnight and I can’t blame him for running out of things to do at that hour. I went outside and asked him if he could wait while I went to say goodbye to a few people. When I got back inside, it seemed like everyone had scattered. I headed back toward the stage and saw Matthew holding a box and talking to one of Interpol’s crew. While I was waiting for him, Sam’s drum tech came up to me and said he’d seen me at a lot of shows. I said that I’d been to a bunch and introduced myself. He asked how many shows I’d been to, and when I said twenty-something he said I won the prize. He dug into a black sack, pulled out three of Sam’s well-used (during the show, presumably) drumsticks, and gave them to me. Yay! He is really nice. I have heard people rave about what a good guy he is, and it was great to finally meet him after all this time.

CliftonParkstuffSam’s drumsticks, my pass, and signed Twin Tigers vinyl

A minute later, I got Matthew’s attention and he came over. He seemed a bit surprised and disappointed when I said that my ride had arrived. We hugged and I told him to keep in touch with me if he thought of it, and he said to do the same. Then I headed back to the merch table to see if I could find any of the others and ran into Forrest. He was kind of all over the place and asked where my friends had gone. He wanted to party! We said farewell. Unfortunately I couldn’t find either Aimee or Chris.

And that was the end of my Interpol/Twin Tigers/sometimes Postelles Summer 2010 adventures. I had such a great time and met so many cool people. I would do it all again right now if I could. My next planned Interpol show is on my birthday in NYC. And maybe… maybe… I will see some more shows in the UK in December. Twin Tigers… you need to get your southern butts up here. I’ll see you guys later.

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