TV on the Radio and the Dirtbombs ignite First Avenue

The main room was bustling Monday night in anticipation of the first of two shows by TV on the Radio, and openers the Dirtbombs did a fine job getting the heads bobbing and the beer flowing. The band blasted through their set at a fast pace, barely leaving room between the songs for applause, and took the audience on a quick tour of the last 20 years in blues and punk.

Their music was an interesting combination of genres, with lead singer Mick Collins providing fairly straightforward blues and pop vocals while the rest of the band countered with frenzied backbeats. At one point I wondered if this is what Ray Parker Jr. might have sounded like fronting a punk band in the '80s instead of penning the Ghostbusters theme song.

The band ended their set by slowly disassembling their stage set-up mid-song, including the drumsets of both of their drummers, and hauling pieces off bit by bit as the second drummer continued to play. It was a fun gimmick to watch, and it riled up the crowd even more.

TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe. Click here for the rest of Tony Nelson's TVOTR photos.

As soon as TV on the Radio came on stage, the entire floor pressed forward to get closer to the action. As the band started working through their set, which jumped between songs from all three of their major releases, I started to worry that the hipster- and fratboy-filled crowd would simply stand still and nod their heads along with the frenetic beats. TV on the Radio play dance music, people, this is no time to stand motionless and look cool.


Luckily, when band launched into "Wolf Like Me," a song that was all over the radio after the release of Return to Cookie Mountain, the entire floor started bouncing up and down and didn't stop for the remainder of the set. Highlights from the new album included "Dancing Choose," "Halfway Home," and "Shout Me Out," all of which took on a new intensity live.

TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe. Click here for the rest of Tony Nelson's TVOTR photos.

Other thoughts I had during the TVOTR set: this doesn't sound like any other band I know; if TVOTR sound like anything, they sound like RIGHT NOW; every member of the band is working overtime, playing multiple instruments and contributing to a lush, multi-faceted sound; and the hipster girl they brought out during some of their newer songs didn't seem to serve much of a purpose other than to bounce around, play the tambourine, and shake her fringe-covered ass for the crowd.