Three years ago, TV on the Radio experienced incredibly happy and sad milestones just nine days apart, when they put out their fourth full-length, Nine Types of Light (stream it below), not even two weeks before bassist Gerard Smith succumbed to lung cancer. But the beloved hometown band has been back in a big way, busily touring and promoting their fifth album, Seeds (stream it below), since its release last fall. The LP explores a different sound. “Their old experimental noises have now taken a back seat to 4/4 beats, jangling guitars, punky power chords and immediate dance grooves,” per the Guardian. “A band emerging from the darkness to throw open the curtains.” Of course despite a different recorded sonic direction, TV on the Radio (above, doing “Happy Idiot” for KCRW FM) are still a band that brings it live every night. And you’ve got two chances to see them this week, tomorrow night at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn and on Thursday at Terminal 5.
Tag Archives: Nine Types of Light
TV on the Radio – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 22, 2014
There was a time when Williamsburg was still an affordable place to live, before New York City’s music scene exploded with a handful of bands that would go on to define indie-rock music at the turn of the millennium—the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol and TV on the Radio. That last group had their gestation period take place in Williamsburg, so it makes sense that they’d wrap up their latest tour in their home base. Still absolutely adored here, the band easily sold out three local shows (plus a free in-store appearance at Rough Trade NYC), with their final appearance taking place at a packed Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night. The performance kicked off with one of TV on the Radio’s very first songs, an unraveling expansive soundscape that slowly evolved its way toward the introductory vocal coos of “Young Liars.” Its energy notched up incrementally until dissipating into the taut funkiness of “Golden Age.”
Singer Tunde Adebimpe was a stage-performing spectacle. Whichever hand wasn’t holding his microphone was almost always miming out the song, sometimes reaching out to the audience as if to lend them a hand into the tune. “The age of miracles/ The age of sound/ Well there’s a Golden Age/ Comin’ round, comin’ round, comin’ round,” Adebimpe sang in “Golden Age,” spiraling his hand in the air before extending it out to the audience: Grab my hand, hop on board and let’s check it out. Then there was the near constant harmonizing with Kyp Malone, and if there’s one thing that’s instantly recognizable as TV on the Radio, it’s the two of them singing together, with Malone always several octaves higher in the highest of falsettos. It splits the expressive possibilities of their songs in half, and in it’s best moments the two of them sing the same lyrics with different emotions. On “Careful You,” off their new album, Seeds, one seems to be singing a statement and the other a plea.
The older numbers had a more abrasive edge than the newer ones. “I Was a Lover,” with all its jittery, stuttering rhythm, encapsulates the Bush-era anxieties of the mid-’00s as well as any other song of that time. On “Wolf Like Me,” the band made things as loud as possible. Dave Sitek even brought out a four-foot wind chime, rattling the hell out of it as the song finished. Contrast that with the new tune that followed, “Trouble,” and its reassurances in the chorus of “‘Everything’s gonna be OK/ Oh, I keep telling myself, ‘Don’t worry, be happy’/ Oh, you keep telling yourself.” TV on the Radio’s encore kicked off with “Forgotten,” off Nine Types of Light, Adebimpe leading the audience in chanting, “Light,” to combat life’s darkness. The set closed with “Staring at the Sun,” their first single, the perfect finish to a tour-ending show in their hometown, where once upon a time it had all begun. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks
Tags: Dave Sitek, Interpol, Kyp Malone, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Nine Types of Light, Photos, Review, Seeds, Strokes, Tunde Adebimpe, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
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TV on the Radio – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 12, 2011
Just after 10 last night, as TV on the Radio took the stage at a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg, the pouring rain on North 6th Street began to dissipate. And bathed in dim blue light, Tunde Adebimpe sang the opening line of “Killer Crane”: “After the rain, a killer crane, after the rainbow….” With the crowd beginning to dry off, it was a weather-appropriate choice of song to segue into the band’s hotly anticipated performance in support of their new record, Nine Types of Light, released the same day.
Large photographic lighting umbrellas and lights adorned the stage, and TV on the Radio experimented with more than nine types of light as they played. The upbeat “Young Liars” punctuated with a bright, almost sunny yellow, deep reds during the catchy new song “Keep Your Heart” and complete darkness broken up by flashes of strobe light during the aggressive moments in “Dancing Choose.” TV on the Radio seemed happy to be celebrating their album’s release (and warming up for their show at Radio City Music Hall tonight) with a hometown performance, and they whipped the crowd into a frenzy with the energy of old favorites like “Wolf Like Me,” “Blues from Down Here” and “Staring at the Sun,” and alternately, set a more subdued tone during downtempo new numbers “Will Do” and “You.”
Throughout the show, the complementary interplay between singers Adebimpe’s and Kyp Malone’s distinctive voices, flourishes from trombone and the subtle addition of a small set of wind chimes dangling from the neck of Dave Sitek’s guitar added to the complexity of the band’s sound. The set seemed to effortlessly emphasize TV on the Radio’s uncanny ability to touch upon various genres and influences in their music and yet come across sounding like nothing else out there. And almost as an unplanned encore to the group’s live exploration of Nine Types of Light, shortly after the show, the rain came back, and some of the first lighting of the season flashed across the Brooklyn sky. —Alena Kastin
Photos courtesy of Greg Notch | notch.org