After releasing one of, if not the most, highly-acclaimed albums of 2006, TV On the Radio has been touring in support to increasingly larger venues ever since, selling out just about everywhere. Their show at Avalon in Boston was to a sold-out audience about five times larger than the one played in Beantown three months before.
The all-ages crowd poured in every inch of the place to have the fivesome rock their worlds from start to finish, proving themselves as one of indie’s all-around premiere acts.
Kicking the set off with “Young Liars” then a couple more older tunes, they showed that they’re not just there to show off Return to Cookie Mountain, but that they’ve got a catalog full of gems. “Province” was the first song off of RtCM that they played, and after that, it was on full-blast. “Wolf Like Me”, one of 2006’s best singles, cranked the crowd up about halfway through.
The crowd interplay was relatively minimal, but endearing and charming. Lead singer Tunde Adebimpe worked in a joke during a pause like Subtle’s frontman, Adam “doseone” Drucker, did in his band’s opening set. Adebimpe got the crowd to play rhythm section and clap for every quarter-beat of “A Method”. For about four of the songs, they brought a four-piece brass section out that they picked up in Providence the night before.
During their wildly begged-for encore, the crowd jumped to every beat of “Let the Devil In”, then the band finished the sweaty crowd off with “Staring At the Sun”, their most popular non-RtCM song. Oakland’s Subtle opened with their experimental rock/hip-hop and Drucker’s ultra-fast rhymes. He’s just about the most animated frontman you can find, with constant chatter, stage props, and a bow after every song. He and Subtle helped make it a great show and atmosphere from top to bottom.