cat_reviews

The Rain Can’t Put a Damper on TV on the Radio’s Central Park Show

June 8th, 2009

TV on the Radio/Dirty Projectors – SummerStage – June 5, 2009

TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio

Friday night, despite the inclement weather, Dirty Projectors and TV on the Radio played to a faithful crowd of rain-soaked onlookers at SummerStage. Although their two monikers suggest technical difficulty, the show went off almost without a hitch. Led by Dave Longstreth, Dirty Projectors, the constantly fluctuating outfit, has hit its stride in its current formation, churning out tunes that shuttle from a cappella to free jazz to afrobeat without missing a step. The group’s X-factor lies in the vocal contributions from Angel Deradoorian, Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle. Their tight, otherworldly harmonies had no trouble rising above Longstreth’s Graceland riffs and Brian McOmber’s erratic drum beats. The set included several cuts from the upcoming Bitte Orca, out tomorrow. Highlights included the new and stellar “Cannibal Resource” and “Stillness Is the Move.”

TV on the Radio began its set just as the last sun rays filtered through the Western skyline. The band launched into an hour-long set, opening with “Love Dog,” while front man Tunde Adebimpe split his time between dancing a samba-like rhythm and manning the loop pedals. As the technologically synesthetic name suggests, TVOTR does not constrain itself to conventional instrumentation. For much of the set, guitarist Dave Sitek played with chimes hung from the tuning peg of his high-E string, occasionally colliding them with Jaleel Bunton’s cymbals. The band played cuts from its three studio albums, evenly dividing the material among each. The show ended with a spectacular rendition of Return to Cookie Mountain’s “A Method.” Adebimpe banged on a cymbal plucked from Bunton’s drum set while Sitek thumped on a drum with two shakers, sending rainwater flying. As the last electronic bursts fizzled, Adebimpe voiced a thank you to New York City with a shout-out to Brooklyn in particular. —Theo Spielberg