TV on the Radio - Apollo Theater, New York - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

TV on the Radio - Apollo Theater, New York

by paul_guyet Rating:9 Release Date:2012-03-04

For some insane, idiot reason, I've never seen TV on the Radio live before now. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Taking into account the audience, lead singer Tunde Adebimpe seems to be the most excited person here this evening. This has more to do with his innate enthusiasm than it does with the fidgeting, phone-slaved fans.  

Overall, they seem more excited to be playing the new stuff (the set consists of more than half of their ebullient new album, Seeds*) and all of it has a wonderful freshness and exuberance to it, but standouts from the evening include 'Lazerray' (such an explosion of energy), 'Forgotten' (stunning new arrangement and that fucking wall of synth), 'Happy Idiot' (just a fantastic song, even more so live), and 'Province' (but for the guitar). There's a moment at the end of the extended version of 'Forgotten' where Adebimpe has us all chanting the word "light" and it is everything religion strives for.

I will say I'm a bit surprised at the minimalism of the stage set-up when taking into account the absolutely fantastic (and interactive!) album artwork for Seeds. I know I've been spoiled by Nine Inch Nails and their multimedia orgies of spectacle, but, still, I think it's worth mentioning. Along with the lack of jaw-dropping visuals, I'd also like a bit more from Nine Type of Light, one of my favorite TVOTR albums, but, as I stated at the top, I'm the moron who kept not making them a priority.

I also would have enjoyed it if Dave Sitek had been properly soundchecked. Holy fuck is someone not doing their job... Everything that man touches is at least 400,000 times louder than it should be. At least. On one hand, yeah, woo, rock show, but, on the other, fuck you, I can't hear the rest of the band, you cunts. I'd like to think this is a problem with the World Famous Apollo Theater© and not TVOTR, a band that has such regard for sound and puts so much thought into their music.

And, while I'm complaining about the Apollo, allow me to reiterate how much I hate seated venues for anything other than church. Especially for such an energetic band as TV on the Radio, sitting only serves to drain energy from the audience and the performers in turn, although, to their credit, the band do their damnedest to counteract the situation.

So. I finally saw TVOTR live, a band I've been a fan of for almost 10 years. What have I learned?
If you like a band and have a chance to see them, fucking do it. I know that seems like common sense, but, things come up: oh, it's raining, I have work the next day, my butt hurts, shut up.
Shut up and see the band. See them twice in case the first show had bad acoustics or the venue was seated or the drummer had a cold.

Don't deprive yourself of these simple pleasures. Because you could spontaneously combust tomorrow.

* Review here

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