Written by Jason Reed
October 5, 2017
I had the pleasure of seeing the legendary NY band Television perform on Friday September 29th at the Teragram Ballroom. It was an experience I won’t soon forget.
Chris Stamey of the dB’s opened up, playing an impassioned set of songs. As Chris stated on stage, it was the first time he had performed songs from an upcoming musical entitled “Emotional Shivers” that will be debuting on NPR in December. Chris also gave fans a tease of songs from his as of yet untitled solo album that he plans on releasing in 2018. Chris also performed dB’s classics “From A Window To A Screen” and “Happenstance” to the eager audience.
I must admit that there was something transcendent about seeing the members of Television on stage. I felt like I had been transported to the Bowery in New York in the mid 1970’s. There was a grittiness and authenticity to their set that I wasn’t expecting. Despite being musical legends who could probably skate by with a lackluster performance and have fans and critics still give accolades, these guys pushed hard with a rawness and ferocity that was refreshing and inspired.
Watching Tom and guitarist Jimmy Ripp shred on guitars in a cacophony of angular, syncopated rhymes was a sight to behold. I heard sounds from their guitars that I didn’t think could be generated by two electric guitars and some pedals. Speaking of impressive, hearing Tom’s art house, spoken word vocal style live also made it clear to me just how much fellow NY musicians of the time (hint: rhymes with Bavid Dyrne) and countless post-punk bands found inspiration (if not outright stole) Tom’s trademark vocal inflection style.
Highlights of the night included their performance of “Venus,” “Elevation,” and “Friction.” Before breaking into the beautiful, hip-swaying rarity “I’m Gonna Find You,” Tom stated,”This is our oldest song. It got left off our first album. It took two centuries to come out, but we’ll try tonight.” Tom then proceeded to put the Beatles on blast, making his own guitar weep in a wonderfully ungentle fashion. Their encore of “Guiding Light” was inspired and a perfect way to end the night.