TV On The Radio @ Fox Theater, Oakland- May 22nd, 2009

TV On The Radio

with Dirty Projectors

Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

May 22nd, 2009

TV On The Radio thoroughly rocked the crowd last night at Oakland’s newly renovated and re-opened Fox Theater- which is the most gorgeous venue I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing a show at. Dave Longstreth‘s Dirty Projectors opened the show, running through a mere handful of songs in their allotted 36 minutes, closing with the stellar Fluorescent Half-Dome. Let’s catch up with them in a few weeks when their new album Bitte Orca hits us, but tonight was all TVOTR‘s.

“They were really intense, like so into it” said some girl to her date as the crowd shuffled out. Yeah, my sentiments exactly, except without the California accent and ride back to Walnut Creek. I kid, I kid; I had a long day and I really don’t like people all that much.

The intensity of said music was mirrored by the excellent lighting effects and psychedelic patchwork tapestry backdrop- after all, lead singer Tunde Adebimpe and musical mastermind Dave Sitek are art/film school guys, so I’m pretty sure the arty visual vibe was conceived to match up with TVOTR‘s space-age synth-drone-soul-art-rock thing they got goin’ on. Actually, that’s more of a disservice than anything else- trying to describe their sound or force them into a genre is so above them- talk about square peg, round hole (don’t fit…)

They played the whole new album (almost, save for Lover’s Day– which I read in an interview they’ll never play live, just listen to the lyrics and you’ll understand why). Standout tracks from the dark Return To Cookie Mountain (the driving, shout-out to the balcony jam Blues From Down Here, one of 2006’s best songs Wolf Like Me, the churning and anthemic Dirtywhirl, and an all-percussion encore with the song A Method) as well as the two songs from their debut album that caught my attention way back in 2004; Staring At The Sun and Dreams.

Setlist:

Love Dog

Dreams

Blues From Down Here

Halfway Home

Golden Age

Wolf Like Me

Crying

Dirtywhirl*

Staring At The Sun

Red Dress

Shout Me Out

Dancing Choose

DLZ

ENCORE

Family Tree

Stork & Owl

A Method

* – during the outro of Dirtywhirl, the band did the refrain from Warren G‘s Regulate (the last verse; “if you smoke like I smoke / then you high like every day / and if your ass is a buster / 213 will regulate” sung by Nate Dogg. Remember that jam? The under 25 crowd there looked completely clueless, and I wasn’t about to explain it to the high school kids next to me or the Urban Outfitters’ employess behind me…)

Pictures? Oh yeah, we got pix (click on image to enlarge):