TV On The Radio / March 10 / Columbia, Mo. (the Blue Note)
The last time TV On The Radio rolled through, Columbia, Mo., the Brooklynites were in a supporting slot alongside electro dance wunderkinds the Faint. By that point, TVOTR had a stellar EP and first fThe last time TV On The Radio rolled through, Columbia, Mo., the Brooklynites were in a supporting slot alongside electro dance wunderkinds the Faint. By that point, TVOTR had a stellar EP and first full-length under its belt, but there were still a handful of people at the show who weren't yet hip to this hip band.
This time around, after relocating to Interscope and releasing one of 2006's most critically acclaimed albums, "Return to Cookie Mountain," TVOTR returned to the Blue Note to play in front of a sold-out crowd of fans eager to hear how the new batch of songs translated in a live setting.
But instead of leading off with its newest material, TVOTR started the night with a trio of songs from its back catalog. A very energetic, arm-flailing Tunde Adebimpe commanded the stage as he dove straight into opener "Young Liars" off the band's 2003 EP of the same name.
From there the band launched into two songs from 2004's "Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes," "The Wrong Way" and "Dreams." The former sounded almost like an entirely different song with its drastically revved up tempo that exploded into an audience clap-along.
For a band whose sound is as complex and multi-layered as TVOTR's, successfully recreating it live is no simple feat. As was expected, there were some glitches, particularly the vocals-masking distortion on "I Was a Lover," but for the most part guitarists Dave Sitek and Kyp Malone were able to keep the swell of noise in check.
TVOTR hit the highlights from "Cookie Mountain," such as the slow-burning "Province," the funky dance favorite "Wolf Like Me" and "Wash the Day Away," which drowned out the venue with a wall of hypnotic sound. Adebimpe threw water on the crowd before "Dirtywhirl," a song about water, which he stated "looks like this but feels like this."
The band saved some of its best songs for last, closing out the encore with the percussion-laced "A Method" and "Let the Devil In," during which Adebimpe brought out a megaphone for the collectively sung chorus. The show wrapped up, predictably, with "Staring at the Sun," and by that time the crowd was so worked up a few concertgoers attempted to crowd surf. True, it seemed a bit out of place for a TVOTR performance, but it summed up the enthusiasm most people felt during the show.
Here is TV On The Radio's set list:
"The Wrong Way"
"I Was a Lover"
"Wolf Like Me"
"Blues From Down Here"
"Wash the Day Away"
"Let the Devil In"
"Staring at the Sun"