Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

TV On The Radio @ Brixton Academy – 13/07
July 15, 2009, 10:10 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , ,

Another day, another gig and another one I’d been looking to far quite a while with it being TV On The Radio’s only UK gig this Summer (not including T in the Park) and also my first at the Academy in four years!

Having finally remembered how to get there, I rocked up just a few minutes before the support band, the Noisettes came out and managed to blag a spot right at the front, albeit to the side. The band first came out without the lead singer who started their opening number off stage before coming out as the song progressed, with the flurry of photographers all clicking away. Musically, they were slightly better than I had anticipated, only being vaguely familiar with ‘that’ song of theirs that’s been used on a recent advert which, slightly surprisingly, was the second song of their set. Their sound was quite cool, with each song having a slightly different feel to it with some poppy song, more rocky ones and then some others that had a more blues feel to it and so I thought they weren’t a bad warmup on the night.

After their set and the rejig of the stage, all to the sound of Led Zeppelin, TV On The Radio took to the stage with the normal band members plus a saxophonist who added an extra layer of sound to the whole proceedings and made me realise how prominent the sax is on the new album. Anyhoo, they opened up with “Love Dog” which was a surprise to me but it worked fantastically as it’s a fairly understated song on the album but the tempo meant it worked as an opener, a bit like when Metric opened with “Twighlight Galaxy”.

From there on, they played a really good mixture of songs with the set consisting of “Dear Science” more than anything but that’s no bad thing. The thing that surprised me through the set was that some of the tracks that I never found to be the best on the album, such as “Crying”, sounded so much better live, while my favourite tracks, such as the unstoppable album opener “Halfway Home” and the top “Golden Age” didn’t disappoint either. Added to this, they played a good mix of older tunes, with ones such as “Wolf Like Me” coming across superbly.

The encore consisted of the slightly underwhelming “Family Tree” before they launched into a hugely percussive rendition of “Method” with Dave Sitek thundering along on a water covered drum to great effect and with the Noisettes also playing a variety of percussion instruments in the background, particularly the drummer playing alongside TVOTR’s drummer at the back of the stage. After this, the grand finale was in no way anti-climatic with a high energy performance of “Staring At The Sun” which sounded far better than it ever has on record.

I thought the gig itself was absolutely top notch as the energy from the band was great and the songs themselves were better than I expected it to be, especially some of the ones that never really grabbed me off the album. The sound levels weren’t quite right on every track but when they were, they worked brilliantly. Tunde Adebimpe is a top front man, dancing around stage and clapping along when not singing or on keboards, and Kyp Malone’s vocals were also strong on the night. As said, the setlist was a good mix of the old and new and played like it was, it made for a great night. I was slightly disappointed they didn’t play “DLZ”, possibly my favourite track off the album, but can’t complain as they filled their 80 minute slot brilliantly.

TV On The Radio – Staring at the Sun (live)

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