Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

43° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement

TV Girl airs classic hits, gospel to an audience of ‘depressed, repressed, horny’ teens

A+person+in+blue+lighting+sings+into+a+microphone.
Lexi Goldstein/Daily Senior Staffer
TV Girl’s newest album and tour feature religious motifs, including a stained glass style version of their glowing logo.

Indie-pop, ‘60s-sampling band TV Girl put on a show explicitly targeted toward the younger generation at Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom Sunday night.

Baroque castle towers adorning the venue set the tone for the stellar musical performance. The motif accentuated the contrast of vintage and modern sounds and aesthetics, which underscore the identity of the band.

The Southern California-based group is touring its new album, “Grapes Upon the Vine,” a summer release that the internet gave mixed reviews. The album stayed true to TV Girl’s signature sound, but introduced gospel choirs and religious themes.

Supporting single-man act Monster Rally opened up the show with a dynamic performance, temporarily transporting the audience to a tropical paradise. With a fluorescent mushroom — his staple motif — sitting atop his Mellotron, Ted Feighan crafted layered songs with instruments ranging from egg shakers to a bass guitar that vibrated through the floor of the venue.

Following Feighan’s 30-minute set and another half hour of anticipation, TV Girl came onstage to a roaring crowd, some of whom had been waiting since 11 a.m. for the 7 p.m. show. “Grapes Upon the Vine” album opener “I’ll Be Faithful” kicked off the set before the band moved onto a variety of songs from their hit album “French Exit.” Among these tracks was “Louise,” featuring a boppy groove and tones of longing that are characteristic of TV Girl’s vibrant sound.

The new record is heavily influenced by gospel style, and a stained glass-inspired TV Girl logo took center stage during the performance. For the majority of the set, two background singers sang gospel riffs and danced on a platform, sometimes pantomiming the lyrics in a way that demonstrated they were enjoying the performance as much as the audience.

Only five songs of the 21-track setlist, including the encore, were off “Grapes Upon the Vine.”Lead singer Brad Petering’s tone teetered between sardonic and awkward while pausing to talk about the new album, which became more uncomfortable with each subsequent mention of the album’s poor sales. Petering apologized to fans for playing three tracks consecutively, saying, “I see the sales figures every night, you guys don’t like (the album), that’s ok.”

One of those three songs, “Fire,” speaks to some of the downfalls of the album. The backing choir sounds beautiful, but lyrically the piece falls short — the end of the song includes repetitive lyrics eerily similar to The Police’s arguably creepy and overplayed “Every Breath You Take.”

As he drank rosé from a bottle in between songs, Petering gave a hello to the “depressed, repressed, horny, depraved, hedonistic, godless, socially-awkward … freaky little teenagers,” in the audience, acknowledging them as the heart of TV Girl’s fanbase.

Despite Petering’s unpredictable commentary, the music quality spoke for itself. Hits from 2016 album “Who Really Cares,” such as “Cigarettes Out the Window” and “Not Allowed,” had the crowd belting each word with zeal. Given TV Girl’s internet fame, fans and concert attendees skewed younger, bringing a youthful passion to the venue.

The encore featured the band’s biggest hit, “Lovers Rock,” which was met with cheers as Petering teased fans that it was finally time for their favorite song. And for good reason –– the transcendent beats closed out the night as their best piece yet.

Email: [email protected],
[email protected]
Twitter: @lexipgoldstein

Related Stories:
Reneé Rapp has a right to be obsessed with herself… but her fans don’t
Happy birthday, dear Maude: Latour rings in 24 with dazzling performance
Pink is the way to think on Chappell Roan’s ‘The Midwest Princess’ Tour

More to Discover