TV on the Radio open KCRW Sound in Focus with premier indie rock set

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Studio City was the place to be Saturday early evening as KCRW kicked off the first of their free Sound in Focus shows that featured performances from TV on the Radio and Boxed In. The music was the main course for a night that featured excellent food truck choices and solid drink options as well as some interesting entertainment in between the music.

The event took place at the Annenberg Space for Photography, a massive courtyard that sits behind the CAA building. If I ever was jealous of anyone who runs around in that realm of entertainment, it was for the fact that they get to enjoy their lunches in this beautiful area.

People brought their blankets and enjoyed some drinks in the beer garden before and during Boxed In’s opening set. The solo project of Oil Bayston (formerly of Keith), this UK act is a bit on the green side but still extremely talented and they relished performing in front of such a big crowd in their LA debut. “Mystery” was a favorite of the performance as I took in some tasty sangria and a beer, later switching to white wine when they ran out of everything else. I’d later regret that choice, but hey, we only live once.

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Performers walked around the grounds. There was a big butterfly, and a guy that was on stilts riding some sort of ostrich-looking thing. He was not amused when a friend asked if she could pet the thing.

It wasn’t hard to get a very good spot for TV On the Radio a few minutes before they kicked off their set around 8:45 PM. The Brooklyn indie rock favorites launched into a rousing rendition of “Young Liars” in the first of their 14-song set. I could think of only a handful of bands that would be as good of a fit for the atmosphere and the surroundings of the venue than this band. Their expansive sound and the vocals of frontman Tunde Adebimpe were a perfect match – though Adebimpe would later apologize for his vocal shortcomings later in the set.

“Congratulations on the mess you made of things, I’m trying to reconstruct the air and all that brings,” Adebimpe roared in the beginning of “DLZ.” The crowd joined in unison for the chorus of “la, la ,la’s” as puffs of smoke filled the air.

After the show, I caught a lobster quesadilla from the Brothers Maine food truck, made famous by an appearance on the TV show Shark Tank. I highly recommend giving it a try.

KCRW will return to the Annenberg Space for Photography for a handful more shows this summer. De La Soul and Quantic are there Aug. 1, Dwight Yoakam and X on Aug. 8, and Cold War Kids and Other Lives finish things off on Aug. 15.

Words: Mark E. Ortega

Photos: Jeremiah Garcia / KCRW

 

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