New York-based TV on the Radio’s musical style is
decidedly experimental. They balance distorted guitar rhythms and
throbbing electronic beats with lead singer Tunde Adebimpe’s
barbershop quartet hymns. To say that they are different from the
band they opened for on Saturday, The Faint, would be an
understatement. They are innovative, creative and, unfortunately,
that’s the opposite of what the Majestic’s gothic crowd
wanted to hear. It would have been a tall order for any opening
band.

Adebimpe strolled on stage late, amid the grumbling of the
crowd, humming banging his tambourine in what would be a jangling
three-minute introduction to TV on the Radio’s most
impressive song, “Young Liars.” No more than a minute
into the body of the song, Adebimpe was already pouring sweat.
Guitarist Kyp Malone was jumping up and down, his large afro
bouncing along, and guitarist David Andrew Sitek was kneeling down
in front of one of the amplifiers, strumming the major chords with
a drumstick.

Adebimpe’s singing style took him all over the stage; he
moaned, covered his forehead with his hands as if about to faint
and writhed like a contortionist, gathering the notes from
somewhere beneath the stage. After the thundering applause for
“Young Liars,” the band launches into the too-long
“Dreams” and the too-confident “Unknown
Country,” effectively losing the crowd.

But, as if he already knew that the audience would begin
cheering when they announced their last song, Adebimpe removed his
glasses and shut his eyes, lunging into the sporadic “Staring
At The Sun.” At this point, the crowd had waited too long for
The Faint and began to sit down in large numbers. The impatient
audience looked like a refugee camp, but Adebimpe just smiled,
saying that the last time they played in Detroit, they saw a man,
bleeding from his head, walk past a hospital without stopping.
“That’s when I knew that Detroit was tough,” he
said with a laugh.

The crowd did cheer when TV on the Radio announced their final
song. “Satellite” is already loud and fast, but, just
like The Ramones, the band seemed determined to play it louder and
faster. Sitek’s hands became a blur and the whole band
started jumping, punishing the crowd for their disrespectful
camping. Adebimpe started shouting his lyrics — loud,
gutteral shouts that pierced through the wall of guitar, and the
band walked off stage to exploding applause. Whether this applause
was from a theater full of new TV on the Radio converts or Faint
fans excited about the inevitability of their favorite band was
inconsequential to Adebimpe.

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