Gobsmacked. It’s an English slang term that means something to the effect of “so amazing your mouth hangs open”. Also the feeling one gets after seeing TV on the Radio explode into an epic back-to-back-three-pack of “Staring at the Sun”, “Repetition” and “Wolf Like Me” to close out the pre-encore set of AWESOME at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.
Yeah, it was really THAT good.
I’ve seen TVOTR three times, but this, this was different. They’ve always been good, really good. But this was a supremely tight group playing a perfectly mixed setlist (see below). It was Kyp Malone (That beard! Those glasses! The garden gnome hat!) handing out blueberries (!) to the crowd, and laughing and smiling through “Method”. It was Jaleel Bunton in his Prince & the Revolution t-shirt locked in on bass so intensely that you could hear nothing else. It was Tunde Adebimpe moving his Dancing Choose/shoes, across the stage, waving hands, and losing his glasses from thrashing about. And it was Dave Sitek, wind-chimes hanging from the keys of his striped guitar par usuel, using his jingle cymbals stock as a slide, and nailing his guitar through “Wolf Life Me”. And it was new drummer Japhet Landis anchoring the whole, beautiful thing….
….aaand the crowd went wild.
While the highlight from new one Nine Types of Light was definitely “Repetition” (with Adebimpe screaming “MY REPETITION! MY REPETITION IS THIS!” – a nod to Toronto’s Dream Warriors, obviously), it was the oldies that splattered rainbows across the venue. Find me one person who doesn’t think TVOTR’s “Staring at the Sun” doesn’t sound ENORMOUS – this was the takeaway from pretty much all of the band’s shows and festival appearances of the last three months. There’s something that has grown, there. And its cousin “Young Liars”? Equally encompassing.
Yep, gobsmacked. TV on the Radio just played one of my favourite shows of the year. \m/
TV on the Radio Setlist for Vancouver, Commodore Ballroom, July 20
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