“My future starts right now,” shouted vocalist Tunde Adebimpe at the end of “Dancing Choose.” It was just the second song that he and his band, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]TV on the Radio[/lastfm], had nailed during their powerful Live on Letterman showcase Thursday night, but fans were already electrified. And the words rang true: the future of TV on the Radio — and you could say, of rock ‘n’ roll itself — was, as it always is, starting right now, right here.
Mixing guitars with punchy trombone, falsetto vocals, electronic washes, and deep, rumbling bass lines, TV on the Radio isn’t your average rock band, indie or otherwise. The arrangements feel cinematic at times, bringing bring the rage of rock and roll with electronic influences and, at times, jagged funk rhythms. It can be heady stuff, but it also makes you want to dance.
Watch the TV on the Radio’s Live on Letterman performance:
TV on the Radio just released a new album, Nine Types of Light, and several of the night’s strongest songs came from this brand-new collection, including the jagged, yet still strangely funky “Caffeinated Consciousness” and the raging, hypnotic “Repetition.”
The also reached back into their decade-long catalog for songs like “Young Liar,” one of their earliest releases; the first song of the set, it set a quiet tone at first, before building into wild washes washes of sound.
It’s going to be really taxing on us if those people over at Letterman and CBS continue with their Live on Letterman series,” writes The Audio Perv, referring to Thursday’s performance as well as that of the Foo Fighters, two days earlier. However, they continue, “we won’t complain too much as long as they keep booking cool bands.”
The band is often praised for blending rock and funk influences. Much of the band’s set played up the intense howl of the guitars. “Province,” though, was among the funkiest of the bunch, with Tunde Adepimbe’s voice blending harmoniously with Kyp Malone’s impressive falsetto.
At the end of the 45-minute set, the band then took us on home with a fiery version of “Wolf Like Me,” a favorite that, like “Province,” was from their widely acclaimed 2006 album Return to Cookie Mountain.
The Ed Sullivan Theater can count itself lucky this week, with two very different but equally fantastic bands performing full concerts from the famous stage–the Foo Fighters on Tuesday and TV on the Radio Thursday. Yes, it was a great week for rock and roll.
TV on the Radio’s set list:
* Young Liars
* Dancing Choose
* Caffeinated Consciousness
* Red Dress
* Blues from Down Here
* Wolf Like Me