On Monday night, TV on the Radio exorcised any demons lingering after February’s uncharacteristic misstep on Saturday Night Live with a triumphant sold out show at the 9:30 Club. They opened the cage on the postmodern menagerie of sounds harnessed in the masterful Dear Science while keeping the layered electronic howl respectfully danceable.
Front man Tunde Adebimpe conducted TVotR’s avante garde ruckus, which bordered on a revival meeting and rarely slacked off even during slower numbers. Adebimpe used Science’s opener “Halfway Home” as a template for the set, propelled by drummer Jaleel Bunton. Touring sax player Stuart Bogie spent one half of the show delivering well timed honks and the other half on his knees engaged in the percussive arts.
Guitarist Kyp Malone kicked off a roasting version of “Crying” and put his playing out in front on “Red Dress.” Both “Wolf Like Me” from Return to Cookie Mountain, and “Golden Age” made clear the depth of TVotR’s musical gifts by replicating the textured sound of Science while still sounding spontaneous. This is a band so in sync on stage that they all took a simultaneous towel break after the chugging majesty of “DLZ.”
Photos by Edward Lockett