TV on the Radio is a hyperbole-provoking, sweat-smearing, mind-liquifying live band. And it's a good value! Sure, if you want more pyro, more makeup, and more bras that look like Hershey's Kisses, there's likely other fare available. But when it comes to stirring up a crowd, muddling their souls, and having everyone walk out feeling like they just listened to diamonds being forged, this Brooklyn multigenre indie outfit wins. County Grind has witnessed them in a live setting several times, and no melody is ever performed (or felt) the same way twice.
Even if Nine Types of Light was not your favorite of the band's career, this not the time to get fussy. Do you think that your grandkids are going to care if you give that excuse for not hitting the Fillmore Miami this October 25? These dudes possess kinetic energy that is unmatched among their artsy brethren. Need proof? Here are five examples of TV on the Radio's live prowess.
5. They rock in any setting.
It's impressive how quickly singer Tunde Adebimpe can spark up from an
icy-cold introduction from David Letterman to a full-on freakout onstage
for "Wolf Like Me." This is in front of a bunch of 53-year-old tourists
from Nebraska who will go home talking about how "that was like
listening to the radio on TV, not the other way around, Mildred."
4. Creative things happen.
On record, "Ambulance" is TV on the Radio's closest attempt at doo-wop (aside from its stunning cover of the Pixies' "Mr. Grieves").
Here, the song becomes more of a ?uestlove joint, with David Sitek
doing his best Doug E. Fresh beatbox impression. Add some scatting from
Kyp Malone later and hopefully that'll be enough to prove every open-mic night inferior to this.
3. You never know who might show up.
Two of the darkest vampires of all time, Peter Murphy and Trent Reznor,
wanted to get down for a goosebump-inducing version of "Dreams." Rare
that you can detect that everyone onstage is equally in awe of everyone
else. It's nuts that only about 50 people got to witness this particular
2. Two amazing vocalists.
Kyp Malone, who performs solo as Rain Machine, is sort of like a secret
weapon in the TV on the Radio fold. Although many of the lead vocals go
to Adebimpe, whenever Malone gets some time with the microphone, he
emerges with something like "Crying." Are you sweating yet?
1. The material was built to last.
It's a great service that TV on the Radio created a song called "Staring
at the Sun" so that we could forget about the abomination U2 created a
couple of years prior. Obviously, this song has been the best-known of the
band's career since the Young Liars EP came out in 2003, and the guys have played it a lot. But has that taken out the spontaneous energy? Not a bit.
TV on the Radio. Tuesday, October 25, at the Fillmore Miami, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $26.50 in advance and go on sale Friday, September 9. Click here.