Interpol and Morrissey made San Diego post-punk rock fans nostalgic for the 90s and early 2000s at the Pechanga Arena.

Interpol at Pechanga Arena by Sylvia Borgo for ListenSD


Fans of all generations gathered at Pechanga for a night full of heavy guitar riffs and dynamic light shows.

Interpol are punk rock revivalists that have played alongside well known artists such as The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and LCD Soundsystem. While attending NYU, guitarist Daniel Kessler approached each member on different occasions with the idea of forming a band, thus ultimately forming Interpol in 1997. Paul Banks, guitarist and vocalist originally joined the group as a second guitarist, but stated in a 2012 Pitchfork interview that he took on vocals because he felt that no one else could sing his lyrics. Interpol’s music has appeared on numerous hit shows like Friends, Gilmore Girls, Entourage, Smallville, ER, Veronica Mars, etc. 

People gathered in their Doc Martins and jean jackets with pins for Interpol and Morrissey. Interpol embodied an undeniable sense of coolness as they walked on stage in all black suits, slicked back hair, and sunglasses. They started off the show with “Pioneer To The Falls” while a huge disco ball illuminated the stage. Their light show matched their guitar riffs effortlessly, which helped make the show come alive. With Joy Division and The Smiths being influences of Interpol, it only made sense that they opened for Morrissey.

Morrissey before making his way to the stage played videos of influential artists that were popular prior and during his career such as  David Bowie, the Ramones, and Elvis Presley to keeps fans entertained. He opened the show with “Irish Blood, English Heart” and played many fan favorites throughout the night such as “Suedehead”, “Back On The Chain Gang” and “Spent The Day In Bed”.

Vintage-looking photos projected behind him as he performed each song. They ranged from lighthearted images like Marilyn Monroe smiling and holding a Morrissey record, to more graphic imagery such as a fires and chaos occurring in front of Champs-Élyseés while he played “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris”. To shed light on animal curiety, a video of a matador being trampled played during “The Bullfighter Dies”. 

“San Diego was the first place I played on tour when I went solo many years ago, and it’s good to be back” – Morrissey.

Whether the audience came to the show because were fans of The Smiths, or grew to love him during his solo career, Morrissey left an impression. Being 60 and having dealt with esophageal cancer, his voice sounded identical to his records, reminding you just how talented he is.

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Photos by: Sylvia Borgo
Review by: Mashal Rasul
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