Paul Banks at the Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, CA, December 5th, 2012 | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, January 18th, 2021  

Paul Banks

Paul Banks at the Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, CA, December 5th, 2012

Dec 07, 2012 Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share


History is rarely on the side of the frontman/woman looking to establish a career apart from his or her band. Sure, there are notable exceptions: i.e. Thom Yorke, Björk, and Beyoncé. But for every success there are a dozen more also-rans, whose projects come and go without much notice (I was recently reminded that Ben Gibbard put out a solo album this year. Oh fleeting memory!), or sink under comparisons to their day jobs.

Perhaps that’s why Paul Banks comes as such a welcome surprise. Starting with 2009’s Julian Plenti is… and continuing with this year’s self-titled effort, Banks as been quietly etching out a solo career that subverts—not supercedes—his day job with the use of additional textures, acoustic elements, and spoken word samples. Of course, it would be erroneous to claim that Banks solo doesn’t sound like Interpol. He’ll always possess a dapper, Goth-like swagger.

Wednesday night at the Henry Fonda Theatre, Banks put that attitude on full display, cutting through a sixteen-song set with a poised je ne sais quoi. (Wait, I do know. The word is cool—and he had it in spades.) Surprisingly eschewing the time-honored tradition of playing songs from his day job, Banks instead opted for a set equally split between his two solo offerings. Eyes closed, he performed much as he did on a recent audience-free episode of Letterman. It makes sense. Having already established a viable career, his solo work is a passion project—one that has been lucky enough to find a receptive audience.

The one gripe of the night goes to the lighting staff at the Henry Fonda, who apparently were led to believe that cool—much like Schrödinger's cat—can only exist in an unobserved state. Next time, take a tip from Interpol and turn on the bright lights. Err…please.

Setlist:

1. Skyscraper

2. Fun That We Have

3. I’ll Sue You

4. Only If You Run

5. Young Again

6. Fly As You Might

7. No Chance Survival

8. Arise, Awake

9. Over My Shoulder

10. Lisbon

11. No Mistakes

12. The Base

13. Summertime Is Coming

14. Paid For That

15. On The Esplanade

16. Games For Days

(www.bankspaulbanks.com)




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