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TV On The Radio at Sound Academy, Toronto (April 18, 2011)

On a cold and rainy monday night Brooklyn’s TV On The Radio tore apart the docks district of Toronto with their show at Sound Academy. This was my first time in that part of the city, and for seeing a show at Sound Academy, so it was a bit of a shock to find out how much parking costs ($20 *cough* highway robbery *cough*). I’d read a bunch of bad reviews about the venue, but I quite liked it. Good sound, nice lights, lots of space. I got there early and managed to get a spot right up the front, but through the course of the night I got pushed further and further back as people shimmied there way through.

Lissy Trullie
Lissy Trullie

The opening act Lissy Trullie, also from New York City, were fun but a little underwhelming. They played a straight ahead sort of indie-garage rock that was a bit of an odd accompaniment for a band with a sound as eclectic as TVOTR. Lissy herself was dressed sharp and sure looked the part of rock star but unfortunately didn’t command much stage presence. The pauses between songs were just sort of awkward, she introduced the rest of her band at some point, but not herself, or the name of the band leaving most of the audience wondering who the heck this person was. About three quarters through the set someone shouted out “Who are you?”, she just replied “You’re worst nightmare” before going into the final songs and leaving. I was amused but I still didn’t know who the band was till I looked it up on the internet after.

TV On The Radio II
TV On The Radio

TV On The Radio took the stage shortly after and much to my suprise kicked off their set with some older songs, Young Lairs form their 2003 EP of the same name, followed by The Wrong Way; the opener from their 2004 album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. It wasn’t until their third song that they touched on their most recent album Nine Types Of Light with the albums closer Caffeinated Consciousness. The whole set was well balanced with something for old fans and new, though the greatest moment was when the entire crowd exploded as they launched into the incredibly catchy rocker “Wolf Like Me” to close their set.

TV On The Radio IV
TV On The Radio

The encore, as such things are, was a little contrived. Much to the delight of the crowd we were told we clap better than Montreal. I’m not sure that constitutes as much of an achievement for Toronto, but much like the rehearsed lines of a pick up artists it matters not since they tell all the cities that. All in all it was a good show and if you get the chance I would say definitely go and see them live. And if you’re not a fan of their lastest album fear not because they played plenty of their older material.

TV On The Radio III
TV On The Radio

Update: After finishing the draft for this post I’ve just read the sad news on the bands website that their band member Gerard Smith has passed away today after a battle with lung cancer.


  1. Young Liars
  2. The Wrong Way
  3. Caffeinated Consciousness
  4. Blues From Down Here
  5. Will Do
  6. Province
  7. Red Dress
  8. Crying
  9. Staring at the Sun
  10. Repetition
  11. Wolf Like me


  1. A Method
  2. Forgotten
  3. Satellite