June 12, 2009

Review: TV On The Radio at 930 Club

Two songs into Monday night's show at the 930 Club, TV On The Radio had heads bopping, feet twisting and jumping, and jaws perked into contented smiling positions with a deadly fast version of "The Wrong Way." For the notoriously led-footed DC audience, it wasn't half bad.

Through to the encore-closing "A Method"—performed as an ensemble percussion piece with members of the Dirty Projectors and Baltimore's Celebration—the band had the full-capacity crowd hooked onto its waves of distorted guitars, effected drums, and seemingly possessed vocals, often delivered in beautiful harmony.

There wasn't room for much filler during the evening. From the David Bowie-esque masterpiece "Golden Age" to "Halfway Home" and "Dancing Choose," nearly every song was a monster of sound, movement, and sweat. While the crowd became especially crazed during "Wolf Like Me"—the band's most successful and accessible song to date—the highlight of the evening was instead the band's first hit: "Staring At The Sun." Performed with Katrina Ford of Celebration—who recorded vocals for the the original back in 2004—the song found the always sincerely manic Tunde Adebimpe bouncing up and down with his lanky arms flailing on-beat and Ford doing her best to keep up as the layers of guitars climbed surreal heights. Even the beer-bellied Kyp Malone—sporting his usual afro and a fully grown beard—found himself jumping around.

This was my third TV On The Radio show. And every time the venue gets bigger. For a band that's always been and probably will always be adorned by the critics, it's rewarding to see the other half of success come with droves of wanting fans. It's hard to make songs you play every night appear new and fresh, but TV On The Radio—like a middle-aged and well-read punk rock band from hell (Brookyln)—always make their songs roar with a furious enthusiasm. They are easily one of the best live bands in the world. (Photo by BetweenLoveAndLike)

TV On The Radio -"The Wrong Way" (from Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes)

TV On the Radio

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