One Eyed Jacks
TV on the Radio and The Noisettes
April 07, 2007
BY JASON SONGE
When I saw that The Noisettes were opening for TV on the Radio, I imagined them as a challenging, experimental group without melody or rhythm. I enjoy avant music, but not when I'm pushed into it, as I would have been at the sold-out TV on the Radio show at One Eyed Jacks Saturday night. Watching the opener from the back and then moving up to get a spot wouldn't have been an option.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Noisettes were pretty great. They're a trio from England that's just released their first LP. If you made the Yeah Yeah Yeahs attack and songwriting more compact and then turned up the punk a notch, you'd have The Noisettes. Like The Pixies, but less arty and more garagey and classic rock.
The standout of the band was easily lead vocalist/bassist Shingai Shoniwa. Her amazing vocal range allowed for forceful yelps as she shimmied and acted out the lyrics. She's a natural performer, and it was fun to see her get theatrical.
I hesitate to even write anything about TV on the Radio, because the show was so great. From the first song, I was jumping up and down. There's something about their music, maybe the Gospel and call-and-response elements, that make it so cathartic and communal. Thankfully, the crowd came with their A game. Lead singer Tunde Adebimpe was so impressed with them that he asked the masses to follow the band to Orlando, where he knew the audience "would suck." It was a younger crowd than the Republic show, which might have something to do with TVOTR's SPIN cover appearance(SPIN is doing a very good job of annoying their older audience, the people who care more about good music than what's popular, so that the mag can stay hip to the younger, especially emo audience). Sometimes it sucks to be stuck in a crowd, but at this concert, it was awesome to bathe in the spectacular talent of TVOTR with a buncha people that appreciated it just as much. Of course, I'm standing next to the guy that is possibly on Ecstasy who's dancing when nothing's happening and behind a stoic guy whose friends were eternally late. He kept looking behind him for someone, and it was obvious he cared less about the show, and I hated him.
The higlights of the show were obviously the harmonies that Adebimpe and guitarist Kyp Malone made together and the raw, expressive energy of Adebimpe. He twirled and waved his hands, gestured, shook, and was, all in all, completely immersed. He sold the music to me and was an inspiration for me to latch onto the music and let go.
As expected, "Wolf Like Me" was the song that everyone went crazy and exhausted themselves for, but "Dreams" was so motherfucking beautiful and haunting. It was so good that it makes me wanna punch babies. During "A Method," Adebimpe banged on a cymbal with a stick while the crowdgoers performed onstage with percussion.
The sound was much better at One Eyed Jacks than the Republic. The band was represented well, and after the show, OEJ co-owner Rio Hackford thanked the crowd for coming and invited them to stick around and hang out with the band.