Tuesday, April 3

TV On The Radio

How to review this show…? I think my old pal Wes said it best, “I have seen TV on the Radio five times, and they always amaze me.” True, true, very true…they are an amazing live band. This stated, I would have rather seen them play their Sacramento date that was in a smaller venue. San Francisco’s Fillmore is an awesome venue with a great history, but twice now I have seen bands there that I really love (Cursive in 2006 and TVOTR last week) and left wishing I had seem them play a smaller venue. It is a quandary because it seems that everyone in music loves to play the Fillmore, and I believe this was the first opportunity for each of these bands to do so. Simultaneous with feelings of joy for them come feelings of nostalgia for their more intimate shows in smaller clubs. The TVOTR shows that I attended at SF’s Independent and Sacramento’s Library were both much better experiences! The new rigid barrier system the Fillmore has begun to use certainly does not help the audience’s experience. I don’t recall it being there at shows in the past, but even from the very front of the floor it leaves the audience forcibly detached from the events on stage. This chest-high steel wall is set-up to put the crowd about 5 feet from the stage as if it were a much larger stadium-type show. This distance seems to bring with it a significant isolation of or possibly for the band, and also inhibits the bands’ ability for interacting with the crowd as much, thus the loss of intimacy. I can understand that this distance and the space it provides for security might be a necessity for a very moshy crowd, but for TVOTR? I don’t think so. The Fillmore must have really been expecting a riot because they didn’t have apples out that night either, and the greeter fella at the top of the stairs said “no apples tonight because they were worried they would be getting thrown around.” Whatever.

The band sounded great! The sound at The Fillmore has been rich and finely balanced each time I have been there. The set was shorter than some I have seen them play, but it was satisfying.

The three of us enjoyed some Ethiopian food at the Jazz club across the street beforehand, and it was REALLY good. I highly recommend you give yourself time to eat there next time you go to a Fillmore show. It is busy with one waitress so go a bit early so you aren’t rushing like we were. YUMMM! Plus, you never know who will be giving a speech in the back room!

I snapped a few pics at the show, but not too many. I just wasn’t feeling the image making that evening. It could have had something to do with my level of intoxication, and the fact that someone deliberately dumped an entire mixed drink on Lara and I because we asked her to go around rather than through us. I was SO angry. I had to excuse myself from the area and watch the rest of the show from the slightly raised bar. What the hell is wrong with people? Truly the most unnecessary and blatantly bad behavior I can recall from any public event I have ever attended.

No comments: