Thursday, March 15, 2007

TV on the Radio Back to Back nights @ First Ave...

Starring at the sun
Shows from their show @ First Ave last winter

Very few bands have songs in their arsenal as spirited and formidable as ‘Young Liars’ and ‘Staring At The Sun,’ and the fact that these two songs served as epic bookends to the stellar TV On The Radio show at First Ave. last evening leaves me with an early favorite for Show Of The Year. As a matter of fact, the band could have come out and just played those two songs and said good night and I would have still considered it an amazing concert. But of course they had more for us, tearing through gritty versions of ‘Blues From Down Here,’ ‘Wash The Day Away,’ ‘The Wrong Way’ and a ferocious version of ‘Wolf Like Me’, in my mind the best single released last year. The packed house couldn’t help but shake something, trying to keep up with the on stage shimmying of lead singer Tunde Adebimpe, who truly loses himself in his music, which is captivating to witness live. The band strode on stage and immediately appeared comfortable with the crowd and surroundings, and completely owned First Ave. for the duration of the hour and a half set. ‘Dreams’ was wonderfully reworked and incredibly mesmerizing. And despite David Bowie not being there to add his wonderful backing vocals, ‘Province’ was massive. There is really not another band out there that sounds anything like TV On The Radio, and that is a testament to Kyp Malone and Dave Sitek, who play their guitars with such subtle potency that it never overwhelms the music, just constantly pushes it forward. And there was even some new material last night. The two songs played before their encore were either obscure covers that I can’t quite place, or brand new songs-and they were amazing, especially the one about love and December. For the encore, the band invited out the members of Subtle, the opening band, and they proceeded to do a percussion driven version of ‘Let The Devil In’ that floored me, with everyone on stage drumming on whatever the could find, creating an insane rhythm that took the song in an unconventional direction, complete with Tunde’s vocals through a megaphone. Closing with ‘Staring At The Sun’ was perfect-it was the only way a show of this magnitude could have ended. It had me, and half of First Ave. jumping along with the beat. A superb concert and evening, made even better with the knowledge that I get to see them again tonight.

- Erik T

Thanks a million Erik, another excellent review. I would of been there if I wasn't teaching until 930. I did see TV on the Radio this winter, unbelievable band. I'll be checking out Matthew Dear @ Foundation tonight....