TV on the Radio / Broken Social Scene @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

It was fairly noticeable by those who frequent concerts in Dallas that this past week was definitely rare and definitely welcomed.  The annual Austin City Limits Festival was to occur over three days starting on Friday and numerous shows sprouted up in Dallas the days before.  These 'spillover' shows featured some heavy-hitters and great lineups, such was the case at Friday night's TV on the Radio and Broken Social Scene gig over at the House of Blues.  Alone, TV on the Radio are a worthy pick for any night of the week but adding indie greats Broken Social Scene as an opener...are you serious?  This show was too good to be true and I was more than obliged to take my eyes and ears to this one.

I have been lucky enough to catch both of these bands prior to Friday's show, so the bar was set relatively high for their performances.  Broken Social Scene, and their rotating cast of members, brought to the House of Blues stage a musical soundscape of sonic excellence.  The variances between the multiple guitars were noticeably different but when combined and performed as one, it was truly a marvel to listen to.  The chemistry among this band is a marvel within itself.  With so many members, you would think that the performance would become jumbled and hectic but that was not the case.  Members performing side by side, others casually talking during collaborative guitar riffs, or simple pats on the back and nods to each other signified a true sense of togetherness and it really does show when you listen to the music.  As good as BSS's catalog is, a real gem was revealed when the band covered Modest Mouse's "The World At Large"; or what they called 'a cover of a cover'.  They put a fantastic spin on an already great song and the crowd accepted warmly.  Broken Social Scene could have filled up the HOB on their own but just having the chance to share their music with the present crowd and performing with such a strong-knit group of musicians, I think they considered the night a great success and the crowd agreed.

Being excited to see TV on the Radio was a bit of an understatement when I heard I was going to be covering this show.  I have only seen the band perform once, in the smoke-filled confines of Oklahoma City's Diamond Ballroom and Duane recently saw them perform at LouFest.  I have since seen Tunde and Kyp perform respective solo shows in New York but they did not compare to the sheer brilliance of TV on the Radio's live set.  Unfortunately for me, I leave my Ety·Plugs at home and knew I was going to be in for auditory onslaught as TVoTR do not hold any punches when it comes to sound.  Not thirty seconds into the opening "Caffeinated Consciousness", the noise level went well past ten but in the best way possible.  The band's sound is so strong and it hits you in the gut but you find yourself wanting me.  Music is what we wanted and music is what we got as there was minimal banter and movement from the band outside of Mr. Adebimpe, who covered almost every inch of the stage whether singing or dancing.  I had the chance to hang out with Tunde a couple times while in New York and his onstage persona is so much different to his actual, quiet demeanor...he is a beast onstage.  The set list was very heavy of Nine Types of Light but they did perform the obscure track "Young Liars" and delivered favorites such as "Staring at the Sun" and "Wolf Like Me" with unmatched ferocity and presence.  After a three-song encore, the band was very gracious to those in attendance and triumphantly marched off stage to huge cheers and a thunderous ovation.  Like BSS, I think TVoTR was satisfied with their performance.  Those in the crowd agreed.  Pictures of the show are below:

Broken Social Scene

TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio / Broken Social Scene @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX TV on the Radio / Broken Social Scene @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on September 19, 2011 Rating: 5
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