The Radio Dept. at El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, February 16, 2011 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Radio Dept.

The Radio Dept. at El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, February 17th, 2011

Feb 21, 2011 Photography by Laura Studarus Web Exclusive
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It would be difficult to call The Radio Dept. a dynamic band. They are, however, a thoughtful band. Unlike opener The Young Prisms (who seemed to have confused aptitude with apathy), The Radio Dept. happily plowed through a set of greatest hits, looking surprised and thankful. And while the most interesting visual component might have been the trio’s well-kept facial hair, their musicality was enough to placate the enthusiastic crowd who gathered in the sold-out venue to witness the band’s first Los Angeles performance.

While covering the bulk of their eight-years-and-counting career (along with a heavy helping of recent album, Clinging to a Scheme) one crowd member went away empty-handed. “I Don’t Like it Like This,” one woman screamed repeatedly, referring to an obscure B-side. “You don’t?” joked leadman Johan Duncanson. While the woman in question probably didn’t like that the band neglected her request, The Radio Dept. did blow through a smattering of dancy numbers, audience reacting with Beatles-level enthusiasm to cuts such as “Heavens On Fire” and “This Time Around.”

With eyes closed, it was easy to see the appeal. However, more boys-next door than rock stars, the band often seemed unable to fill the large stage. The disparity between sound (superb) and stage presence (well…ummm…) made it difficult to connect to the performance. Given the overwhelmingly positive support they’ve received so far, it would be nice to see the band blossom into the stars that seemingly every indie kid in the LA area believes they are.

Come back to Los Angeles, Radio Dept.—and next time, don’t be afraid look up a bit more. We won’t bite. Promise.

Set List:

1. Freddie And The Trojan Horse

2. This Time Around

3. The New Improved Hypocrisy

4. David

5. I Wanted You To Feel The Same

6. The Worst Taste In Music

7. Messy Enough

8. Keen On Boys

9. Ewan

10. You Stopped Making Sense

11. Domestic Scene

12. Heaven’s On Fire

13. Never Follow Suit

14. Closing Scene


15. Why Won’t You Talk About It?



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