When names such as Tunde Adebimpe, Kyp Malone, and Jaleel Bunton are thrown around, one cannot help but associate such unique tags with the one and only, TV on the Radio. When I found out Monday the 19th of September that I was receiving tickets to go to the Ogden show on the 20th, I couldnâ€™t help but brag to the world for the rest of the day. It would be an understatement to say that I was anxious to see how TV on the Radio would approach a live show. A few factors came to mind that could affect the liveliness of this show. We should start in order of significance.
This incredible group of musicians recently lost a member, bassist and keyboard specialist Gerard Smith to lung cancer, making me think of the old clichÃ©, only the good die young. Such a tragic event will undoubtedly shape this group in any upcoming work they may choose to undertake, but furthermore makes one question if this may be one of the final shows that they would play in Colorado as â€œTV on the Radioâ€. Many bands have completely been wiped off the music scene after similar events occurred. One of the more recent examples I can think of is Tickle Me Pink, a Colorado band that lost its bassist due to a heroin overdose. Since that event, the band seems to have melted off of the local radar. Would TV on the Radio share the same fate? I felt this show would at least give insight into the band’s future.
This group also incorporated their entire album, Nine Types of Light, into a continuous music video. The album told a story, and this allowed for that to be seen clearly. I was curious as to whether or not they would maybe incorporate video clips into their set at the Ogden. Many bands have pulled off similar acts successfully, adding to the atmosphere of the show, and building anticipation in a way that simple background music between sets cannot.
10:15 comes around and 5 people walk out of a door-less walk way, â€œHey Denver, weâ€™re TV on the Radioâ€ and that was it, they grabbed their respective instruments and Golden Age drops. I was blown away that I wasnâ€™t blown away. A redundant and ambiguous description yes, but you must understand. With all of the insane, mind bending music videos that Iâ€™ve seen from these guys, I was expecting them to come out and do something wild to make me question reality and possibly chuckle at a ridiculous outfit. This is not a complaint; I think this was an ingenious way to start a show. Give people what they came for, the music. As the show went on, the simplicity remained. The set list jumped from album to album, and left out some of their biggest hits such as DLZ. Sporadic is the word that I would use to describe the method in which they played their songs. There seemed to be no meaning behind the order- just play what Denver wanted to hear.
The true magic of this show was watching these masters work their craft. Tunde was doing this fluidic pull-flick action with his right arm, as if he was pulling a magicians ribbons from his pocket throughout the entire duration of the set. The falsetto from Kyp was spot on, which seemed to be a theme for the night. Every song they played was studio quality. They didnâ€™t veer from what you hear on the albums, it was precise and perfected. Nothing was out of place. This may have disappointed some, but it thrilled me. I donâ€™t go to shows to hear artists do a different version of a song they forced me to fall in love with. I want to fall in love with that song all over again, via a live performance.
I fell in love all over again with TV on the Radio. As I listen to the concert playlist on my laptop, Will Do just came on, and gave me a combination of feelings which hits so hard even one week after the show. I remember the smells, the thoughts, the emotions, and now my mind is back in Denver, rocking back and forth, bopping up and down, wishing my body could follow my mind and experience the show all over again. I am thrilled with these fellows. Through tragedy and hard times they were able to put on a show that leaves me praying that they donâ€™t quit, hoping that they continue, and dreaming that I get to catch just one more show of theirs before my days on this earth are up.