BY PELLE GUNTHER Brooklyn’s experimental Afro-rockers TV On The Radio have always caught my fancy, with their fascinating mash-up of prog and indie-rock, all tied together by the raw vocals of Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, and the six-string genius of Dave Sitek, but Friday night’s Electric Factory performance just didn’t quite make the grade. The band has great stage presence, and their songs are very solid, so it definitely had more to do with the actual performance, low energy level and a cloudy sound mix. As such, songs like the ever-popular “Staring at the Sun” didn’t have sufficient depth of sound, and felt a bit flat compared to the incredibly full sound of the recording.
Chalk it up to opening night jitters, as this was the first show of the tour in support of “Nine Types Of Light” (which comes out Tuesday), but there was definitely not enough energy coming off the stage to keep me focused. And the drunk and shirtless superfans in front of me who insisted on flinging their sweaty torsos at anything that moved definitely didn’t help my concert-ADD. In fact, I might have left early if it wasn’t for Tunde’s wild crooning as he bounced around the stage like a cracked up bunny and Kyp Malone’s wrenching vocals and his voluptuous beard.
The band started off the show with a song from their debut release called Young Liars, which must have had sentimental value to the band and their devout fans but for anyone with a lesser knowledge sounded quite foreign as an appetizer. In fact, most of the songs were either very old or so new nobody’s heard them yet, including a generous amount from Nine Types of Light. Personally, I was hoping for more tunes from the most-excellent Dear Science.
There were high points like “Wolf Like Me,” “Providence,” and “Dancing Choose” as well as a new song they played to kick off their encore, but the majority of the concert blurred into one indistinguishable slush punctuated by excruciating bursts of microphone feedback over and over again sorely tried my patience and I am guessing I was not alone. In all fairness, Nine Types Of Light will probably be the soundtrack to my life for the next few weeks, and when they come back around I will surely give them another chance.