TV on the Radio, Back in Brooklyn

April 13th, 2011

TV on the Radio – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 12, 2011

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 |