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Brooklyn Back-to-Back @ Metropolis: Santogold and TV On The Radio

Posted by Olivier / June 5, 2009

Montreal may still have the best collection of music talent per capita in this corner of the world, but no one puts on a show like Brooklyn. Metropolis hosted Santogold on Thursday and TV On the Radio on Wednesday, two unique Brooklyn powerhouses with nothing in common except their ability to put on a smile-inducing show. Both shows were packed and there was surprisingly little overlap between the crowds on either night: TV On the Radio's show seemed dominated by a slightly older music-savvy crowd while Santogold had a lot of pretty young things' shaking their American Apparel booties. The TVOTR show was excellent, but Santogold got me dancing, and that's almost cheating I like it so much.

But Santogold (now actually Santigold since being threatened with a lawsuit by a jeweller) is more than just a performer with good beats. She has a distinct voice that supports her excellent musical instincts, which she flashed with an enthusiastic Cure cover. She played her hits ("Creator", "Les Artistes", "Shove It") early and with gusto, and a restless crowd that had been waiting until 11:00 to see her get to the stage let loose immediately. Synchronized stone-faced dancers on either side of her were a nice touch and added to a theatricality that many musically complex yet entirely homourless acts could learn from.

TV On the Radio had a similar level of performing excellence, most noticeably in the soaring vocals and semi-spastic dancing of their lead vocalist. This is one of the best bands around in my opinion and they proved it with a range of numbers that make it impossible to describe what kind of music they play. A few tracks are a little too experimental for my taste, but more often than not they balance the difficult task of pushing musical boundaries while making music that will sell-out a venue like Metropolis.

Both nights looked like sell-outs, in fact, and Santi/Santogold's show even had a healthy number of scalpers. Montreal appreciates Brooklyn, apparently, and I can't blame them.

Other Cities: Toronto