Seeing a band twice in one week is a pretty unlikely thing. Seeing them in a festival environment and then in a general admission ballroom makes for a compelling comparison. Catching several artists in this way, all in a week radius… well I’m pretty luck to say I’ve done it. TV on the Radio was one band in this epic stream we rode surrounding our trip to Atlanta, including Ryan Adams, Milky Chance, and Trombone Shorty, all visiting Louisville within a week of our Shaky Knees adventure.
TV on the Radio is a band that knows their sound, a sound which is strong in technological influence and layering of well-paired voices, and instruments. Their fans know this sound, too. Kyp Malone‘s high harmonies with Tunde Adebimpe‘s unmistakable voice is definitely one of the defining elements of TVOTR. It helps to create an eerie and very novel feel that has remained over the years as their music as developed. The basis of this ambiance on the new album, Seeds, actually comes from a difficult place, after the passing of member Gerard Smith. The album has received positive reviews marking it as an emotional release for the band after that hard time. As much as I’ve been drawn to their studio work, their live show was even more captivating. Once we found a spot that my short self could see, I couldn’t turn away, watching how they put together all of the pieces to create their characteristic sound.
This TV on the Radio show was originally competing with Death Cab For Cutie at Iroquois, but the unfortunate cancellation of that show meant a sold out Mercury Ballroom. The place was packed, filled with people who were sincerely excited to be there. As thrilled as Louisville was to have the men from Brooklyn back, it did seem the guys were equally delighted to be in town. It was a pleasant surprise to hear at one point the band was calling out local neighborhoods, showing their uncanny awareness of our city. I may just be speaking for myself, but it always means a lot to have an artist show love for Louisville.