American art rock band, TV on the Radio, from Brooklyn, New York, are currently on tour as part of the indie lovers extravagance Harvest Festival. Tonight they played a sold out sideshow at The Metro Theatre in Sydney, much to the delight of many punters.
Supporting TV on the Radio tonight were Dappled Cities, a local five-piece indie rock band. Having seen them perform once before I’ve always thought this band is perhaps one of Australia’s most underrated acts. Can you believe they are about to release their fourth studio album? Yep. Flying under the radar a little. For the early crowd that made it in on time, they kick things off with “Fire Fire Fire”. The infectious melodic tunes continued and the new songs fit in seamlessly with older material “The Price” and “Peach”. With twin vocalists sharing song duties, the crowd was nodding in approval and bopping along throughout the set. Worth a look if you haven’t already and the perfect support tonight.
A friend once asked me: “Who have you seen live that would make it in your top 50 performers?” One of the first bands to come to mind was: “TV on the Radio – you need to see them”. It’s not often you come across a band that moulds different musical genres together such as soul, jazz, electro and post-punk into an electrifying performance. Earlier this year the band sadly lost a key member Gerard Smith to lung cancer, so you would of forgiven them to be still adjusting to such a traumatic shift in the band.
To a very receptive crowd they begin with “Young Liars” and immediately there was a wave of immense sound hitting the senses. Singer Tunde Adebimpe is a cross between Peter Garrett (hand movements) and Prince (nifty little foot movements) rolled into one. And guitarists Kyp Malone and Dave Sitek played with such passion that it’s easy for the crowd to get lost in each song. Playing material across their four studio albums they gave us crowd favourites “Province”, “Staring At The Sun”, “Repetition” and “Wolf Like Me”.
The volume of the show was incredible loud and some songs were overpowered by the bass drowning out the guitars of Kyp and Dave. However this would only be a minor issue when taken into context of the whole night which provided great songs, a packed crowd and an energy that seemed to escalate as the set went on. A quick interlude and they came back on with an excellent three song encore beginning with “Golden Age”, the Fugazi gem “Waiting Room” and finishing with “Satellite”. And just like that they were gone leaving us with ringing ears and smiles we would take to our dreams that night.
Post TV on the Radio there was a surprise international DJ set from Death in Vegas. It’s a pity it was a school night. Sad face for just a brief moment. But we had just witnessed an awesome performance from a band that is aging a bit like red wine. As most good gigs go, this was all too short and two songs in particular were missed: “Halfway Home” and “I Was A Lover” – such is their catalogue of quality songs. Shame but I guess that means we’ll just have to go see them again!
– Jefferson Chew