Posted in TV | music | video on February 9, 2009


Funny that the same week people talked about the E Street Band miming their performance at the Super Bowl, we get a glimpse of why live TV shows with a lot at stake might not want to leave things to chance. "Saturday Night Live" has long been known for occasionally dodgy sound for their music performances. Whether it was due to onstage monitor problems or TVOTR just having an off night, "Golden Age" and "Dancing Choose" sounded pretty lousy yesterday. Vocals were out of key and generally muddy while the mix just seemed off-- indistinct, out of balance, and flabby where both of these songs require all the elements to come together with some force. [Pitchfork]
TV on the Radio are on TV again tonight (2/9). This time it's the Colbert Report. Videos from SNL below...

TV on the Radio - Dancing Choose - SNL (HD)

TV on the Radio - Golden Age - SNL (HD)

Tunde plays Glasslands this Tuesday.



Comments (21)

the mix is ok. these dudes just can't sing this stuff very well live. the rehearse days before the show airs... I doubt there were any "monitor issues."

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 8:10 AM

i mean look man, it's one thing to assume that their monitor mixes were fine, but would you not agree that the sound was terrible? i mean seriously, listen to how disproportionately loud those horns are. and how muddy his vocals are.

Posted by dan | February 9, 2009 8:26 AM

yea it sounded terrible

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 8:41 AM

thought it was an awesome performance nonetheless. loved how loud it got at the end. awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 9:17 AM

Love these guys but that was one of the worst performances I've ever seen.

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 9:34 AM

They are generally amazing live however this is flat out awful. Is the SNL stage jinxed? Never heard them sound this bad...

Posted by BTW | February 9, 2009 9:37 AM

I'm glad this isn't the norm. I really dig TVOTR but have never seen them live. Seeing this made me want to keep that tradition alive. Terrible.

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 9:51 AM

On the top of my list to see at Coachella...let me rephrase that...WERE ON THE TOP OF MY LIST TO SEE AT COACHELLA

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 9:53 AM

2nd song- lol! what were they thinking? off key falsetto rocks? lol...

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 10:08 AM

Never quite got the big deal bout these guys

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 10:39 AM

they just never have sang well enough

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 10:43 AM

Much better sounding live concert series by TVOTR.

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 10:44 AM

bands almost always sound bad on SNL

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 11:09 AM

ben gibbard even sounded bad on SNL :{

fleet foxes sounded fine though

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 11:35 AM

it sounds bad, because you're actually hearing how bad they really are...

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2009 1:23 PM

Having seen them around 10 times over the years, I can say that it probably wasn't the band. Bands don't suddenly go out of key and sound like complete crap. Almost certainly a soundboard issue...

Posted by Fat Controller | February 9, 2009 1:53 PM

If I were a Pitchfork editor:

"Golden Age" and "Dancing Choose" are pretty lousy. Vocals are out of key and generally muddy. The music of TVOTR is indistinct, out of balance, and flabby.

Posted by Lord Editor | February 9, 2009 1:58 PM

The sound is bad, although they seem like a great live band I just think that these songs won't sound very good live no matter how spot on the sound is, plus I don't think they needed the horn section, they likely aren't going to tour with them but when people are on snl they always think they have to have a whole horn section just because the studio version has one

Posted by Ahhh | February 9, 2009 8:52 PM

I saw both these songs in concert in October, and they were MUCH better, so don't judge their SNL performance and assume it's how they always sound live. They sounded better on Colbert for sure

Posted by Jude Quinn | February 10, 2009 3:46 PM

the SNL sound is unique, I mean, is it me that has just seen the show since belushi in this friggin blog ! Go back years and you will see that the sound has a unique dryness to it on SNL. Always been like that, wake up you juniors.

Posted by Anonymous | February 10, 2009 7:28 PM

I just saw them live in October 08 and they sounded perfect. SNL has historically had terrible sound, so don't let TVOTR's performance on it dissuade you from seeing them at a real venue.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2009 2:13 PM

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