Twilight with TV on the Radio

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Week two of Salt Lake City’s annual Twilight concert series and things are ramping up. July 17’s concert featured indie-rock band TV on the Radio as headliners and Twin Shadow as opener. The lines to get in were much more manageable this time around, what with the additional entrance.

The sweet summer evening atmosphere of the park felt amazing, but smelled so bad (think multiple kinds of cigarette smoke swaddled in sweat). The closer to the stage, the more the smell became something that could be physically felt. To the organizers’ credit, they had designated smoking areas, they were just majorly disregarded.

Twin Shadow, the stage name of George Lewis, Jr., amped the audience with his electric personality. His set sounded like indie-pop marinated in 80s new-wave production. He played songs from both of his released albums, Forget (2010) and Confess (2012), as well as two new songs from an upcoming album.

TV on the Radio, a four-man band from Brooklyn (also featuring Aaron Johnson on trombone), took the stage next and cranked out their indie-rock, punk-influenced material. They played their way through songs from every point on the 13-year spectrum they have been together, as well as a few new songs.

The concert came one week after Tommy Ramone, the last original member of the Ramones, died. TV and the Radio paid homage to him by dedicating one of their songs to the late rock band.

The group plays a lot of festivals. They have also done their fair share touring as the opening band. Although they are all insanely talented musicians, they play like they are adjusting to being the main act. They don’t demand the attention of the crowd, but those that immersed themselves in the music were rewarded.

TV on the Radio has their core group of supporters; the fan base in Salt Lake City is definitely alive and well. The mosh pit and crowd surfers happened, as one would expect. But outside of the pocket of enthusiasm, it seemed like people were forgetting live music was going on. Technically and musically, the band didn’t do anything wrong. There were no gigantic blunders or embarrassing mishaps, the radius of enthrallment just didn’t extend into the outskirts of the crowd. While wandering near the back of the crowd, I passed a man reading a book next to a napping lady.

Even with the new songs and their four albums to choose from, the concert ended by 10:00 p.m. The set was shorter than expected (just over an hour long) and when it ended, it seemed as if people didn’t realize the music had stopped.

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