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SXSW: Weekend Kicks-Off With TV On The Radio And Yo-Gabba Gabba!, The Dodos, Plus 4 Injured at OMD (WTF?)

Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba!
Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba!
photo by Wendy Gilmartin

Puffy-haired '80s electro-pop duo OMD are the last guys you'd imagine to have 4-show-stopping, ambulance-worthy head injuries at their show, but anything can happen in Austin.

SPIN party & BBQ
SPIN party & BBQ
photo by Wendy Gilmartin

At the strictly under wraps SPIN party Friday, a good looking hoard of hungry music fans, industry schmoozers and lucky but line-weary, last minute wrist band holders chilled in the seems-like-summertime sunshine. Like a giant backyard house party, the BBQ smoke continuously wafted around one of the more stellar line-ups of the week with TV On The Radio, the Kills, OMD, OFF!, Smith Westerns, The Vaccines, Designer Drugs and heaps of DJs and other openers.

Good friends at the SPIN party
Good friends at the SPIN party
photo by Wendy Gilmartin

At some point during the afternoon, as OMD played out their hit list of classic electronica, a camera boom fell across a portion of the audience, leaving a hand full of attendees cut and bruised (a couple of which needed to be carried out on stretchers).

But despite the trauma-drama, the crowd carried on partying and by the time TV On The Radio hit the stage in the late afternoon, folks were all smiles and giddy with anticipation over TVOTR and their return to touring in advance of the super-hyped new album Nine Types of Light.

TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe
TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe
photo by Wendy Gilmartin

Although TVOTR has had a crazy year so far - they're continuing to figure out how to deal with the recent cancer diagnosis of bass player Gerard Smith at the same time as they're launching into a mega-sized touring schedule for the new release - you wouldn't have guessed it on Friday.

Their exceptionally well-received set jumped through material from both Return to Cookie Mountain and Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, as well as a few new ones like the single "Will Do," which is already getting airplay and which everyone already seems to know by heart.

TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone
TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone
photo by Wendy Gilmartin

After a set like that, one's reminded how important TV On The Radio are as live band. They were pretty pared down too this time with virtually no horn section, but it gave them the opportunity to show their chops as the raw, efficient quintet that they really are. As opposed to the Strokes who were really just going through the motions on Thursday night, TV On The Radio really do love playing together and it comes across in each gloriously executed jam.

Meric Long of the Dodos
Meric Long of the Dodos
photo by Wendy Gilmartin

Friday night brought out the moon, the stars and The Dodos who played it in an intimate way at the Cedar Street Courtyard venue - a secluded, tree-lined patio off crowded 4th street. In typical form, Meric Long & Co. pounded through their trademark brand of fast beats and even faster melodic riffage.

The boys from San Fran packed in a tight crowd, sadly turning away loads of eager fans and stagglers, some who even continued to poke their heads through the wrought iron railing at the back of the venue. One girl even kind of lost it - screaming down at someone in the crowd "Girl, give me your badge !!!"


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