Thursday, October 05, 2006

TV on the Radio

Dry Bar, Sweaty Floor
Showbox, Seattle, WA

TV on the Radio's first album sounded to me like it had been made by robots in an indie rock laboratory. The songs were crafted and interesting to the complete omission of emotion. So I was a little hesitant when my friend handed me a ticket and told me to go. I picked up their latest album "Return to Cookie Mountain" to prepare, and it has not left my CD player. These guys have figured out how to rock the house.

IMG_3256The Showbox is sold out tonight, packed with every scenester from Georgetown to Northgate. Since it's an all-ages affair, my friends and I head straight for the bouncer-protected bar, leaving the floor area to the under-21 crowd. At all-ages shows we like thinking that our ability to get into the bar makes us more special and gives us better sightlines. It's the whole VIP-section dynamic. But what really happens is that we are segregated from the rest of the crowd and we end up with a less immersive experience of the show than the kids on the floor. And it's just as hot up here. I quickly get antsy and head to the floor for some jostling action.

As I try to shimmy my way to the front, I get stuck between two sets of drunk BFFs (best friends forever!!). Behind me a guy sways woozily with his arms around two gals, and in front of me are two girls who OMG LOVE TVOTR soooooo much. They switch between three modes: hugging each other, pumping fists into the air and screaming WOO, and girl A accosting random guys while girl B text messages someone on her phone. Latching on to BFFs has its advantages and its pitfalls. While you can be sure that you will get closer to the front by following them as they brazenly plow through the crowd, 90% of your pictures will be blurry due to them elbowing and falling on you all night.

During one song, a mosh pit breaks out in front of me thanks to maybe 5 guys who choose to make it so. One grabs his other friend's hair in a catfight like move, they crash into other guys, and the other guys crash back. We all know this weird moshing will only last for one song since a lot of TVOTR's tunes are kind of droney, so we give the dancers space and patience. I suppose it's better for these guys to use dancing as a vehicle to release their aggressions than using an actual vehicle as a vehicle.

IMG_3192The band has this audience captivated, and the sweat and movement provided by lead singer Tunde Adebimpe only helps in that effort. He is a whirlwind, and infuses even the slowest songs with an intensity that you don't find so much in this genre. While we can't understand a thing he says when he addresses the crowd, he is unfazed as a girl from the audience gets up to dance on stage for most of a song, merely shooing her off when it's over. David Andrew Sitek, on the other hand, wearing a v-neck shirt that looks exactly like one I bought recently at H&M, remains perfectly still so I get pretty good pictures of him.

IMG_3241Meanwhile, my BFFs get two military-looking guys so caught up in the WOOing and hugging that that the guys temporarily forget that they are here with their girlfriends. Once the BFFs stumble away, the guys try to prolong the excitement by shaking some quiet girls in front of them with that annoying "you two are having TOO MUCH FUN. Quiet down now! Har har har!" to which these girls glance back as if to say, "um ya shutup." We need to focus on the blistering end of this show, where members of opening band Grizzly Bear come on stage to bang on instruments and provide further freakout energy to a breathless night.

Fanalyst Rating

Fashion: *
Scene: ****
Band/Audience Rapport: **
Audience Focus: ****

More Photos

Video from this show


Blogger Conrad H. Kilroy said...

I went to see Grizzly Bear, our hihgh school friend Chris Taylor is in the band.

You may have heard or seen the group nestled to the left of the stage chanting out to chris. That was awesome!

9:10 PM  
Blogger Sarah Lucy Miller said...

Great review and great to see you last night at the show, Fanalyst. I concur with you on the fashion rating. HOLY SHIT. Did everyone (except you and me) get dressed in the dark last night? I'm sorry, friends don't let friends leave the house like that. Perhaps it was because it was an all-ages show and we are in a difficult time of year, also known has "between seasons". I saw the 30 somethigns in their hipster outfits, guys in tight t-shirs and indie rock glasses, girls in their low-ass jeans and locally screen-pritted with cutise prints t-shirts. Not sure what the 20 somethings were wearing, was that 80's? And the kids these days.. oh boy. I'm so glad I'm not in high school right now .. or I'd be confused and wearing parashute pants and again. oh vay!

Seriously, It's been awhile since I've been to an all ages show at the Showbox, but oh boy, this wasn't good. Here's a question, where do all the beautiful or even cute people go in Seattle? Do they just not go to all ages shows? Are they all at Neumo's?


10:34 PM  
Blogger The Fanalyst said...

I think all the well-dressed people were at the Kinky show the other night.


11:34 AM  

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