On April 20, 2011, all my hopes of seeing TV On The Radio some day died with Gerald Smith. Though I had not known them for a long time, hence never seen them when around, in the short time span before Smith’s death I had taken in their entire catalog like a black hole absorbs light. I was devastated, sad and furious. Fuck lung cancer.

Fast forward a little more than three years, and I am standing in the crowd at the Big Apple Stage at Governor’s Ball, only a stone’s throw (if a little girl threw) from where they would play. When the sun had almost set, and the stage lights went on, the crowd was buzzing with anticipation. Waving, smiling TV On The Radio approaches their instruments, and my eardrums were close to exploding by my own screams mingling with the crowd. The fuzzy distortion of “Young Liars” set in, and the people, now forming one gigantic blob, started to move.

They were great. Singer Tunde Adebimpe owned the stage, effortlessly combining his restless charging over the stage with the booming of his smooth tenor. Like a non-douchy, intellectual Kanye West he entranced the audience. Smoothly intertwining with bandmates David Sitek, Kyp Malone and Jaleel Bunton, they rose a massive wall of sound that crashed upon us.

For the first time in my life as a concert addict, I chose not to sing along, but stay silent and listen to what was happening around me. Everyone knew every single word to the songs, howling like wolves, joining in with the band. It was electrifying.

TV On The Radio played a great mix of their discography, including their two latest releases “Mercy” and “Million Miles,” that are expected to be on the new record, release TBD. “Halfway Home” filled our heart with joy it felt heavy in our chests, “Wolf Like Me” and “Repetition” made us dance our pants off. Their set ended with a creepily beautiful rendition of “Staring at the Sun,” which tore us apart just to put us together again, new and improved.

Though a lot of people were leaving immediately and towards the end to be at the GovBall Stage for Outkast, a big part of the crowd remained, cheering for an encore, demanding one more song, just one more song. Though TVOTR didn’t stick around for an encore, all you could see were happy faces.


1. Young Liars
2. Golden Age
3. Mercy
4. Dreams
5. Million Miles
6. Halfway Home
7. Dancing Choose
8. Blues From Down Here
9. Wolf Like Me
10. Test Pilot
11. Province
12. Repetition
13. June 28
14. Staring at the Sun

Article by: Julia Maehner

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