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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Buy Mountain Dew Code Red | TV Girl Live at Royal Oak Music Theater

TV Girl performing at the Royal Oak Music Theater.
Noelle Simonelli/WDBM
TV Girl performing at the Royal Oak Music Theater.

When I purchased tickets for TV Girl months ago, I didn’t expect it to include a bonus stand-up comedy show. Following the release of their most recent album, Grapes Upon the Vine, TV Girl has been completely selling out shows, despite the gruesome reviews the album has received. Grapes Upon the Vine has been the worst-performing album from TV Girl — although I really don’t mind it — and lead singer Brad Petering is completely embracing it.

Since the release of the album, fans have been split. Old-time fans have been loving the album, saying that the new fans, or the “TikTok fans,” don’t know what they are talking about. Some have even been cocky enough to request that 21+ shows be added to separate from the 14-year-old “fake” fans. 

What’s admirable and outright hilarious about the reactions to this album is the direction Petering’s responses have taken. On an announcement post about the album, Petering’s caption ended with “Do you DARE listen to the record that shook the unflappable ‘stan army’ to its very core??” fully embracing the mixed reviews and opinions on the album.

When it comes to the show itself, Petering had absolutely no problem making quips throughout and centering entire bits around the album’s failure. The most memorable part was the “corporate sponsor” they needed to fund the tour. 

About halfway through the show, after taunting fans with songs from the new album, Petering had to pause and acknowledge the “corporate sponsor” of the show, stating that the album did so poorly that TV Girl wouldn’t able to tour without it. The corporate sponsor in question was Mountain Dew Code Red, which Petering continued to plug throughout the show, even sneaking it into his song lyrics later on.

 

TV Girl performing at the Royal Oak Music Theater. (Noelle Simonelli/WDBM)

 

Comedy of the night aside, TV Girl put on a remarkable show. Although their set was simple, with their trademark logo centered on the stage in stained glass with some wonderfully vibrant lights accompanying, it matched the music’s vibe wonderfully. 

The stage was also jam-packed with musical accompaniment. Recently, I’ve found myself comparing the number of people on stage at shows I’ve been to — with nine at Fleet Foxes being my record. TV Girl had six people on stage for the majority of the show. This includes Petering, two background vocalists and the three other band members swapping through instruments. The instrumentals were stunning. I’m tempted to say their songs sound better live than they do recorded. 

 

TV Girl performing at the Royal Oak Music Theater. (Noelle Simonelli/WDBM)

 

I was already an avid TV Girl listener before this show, however, following the unique personality and sound of the show, I’ve found myself diving deeper into the world of TV Girl and discovering more and more things to love about them. I have even found myself genuinely enjoying their supposedly too-preachy and gospel-like new album.

This show had a phenomenal energy and balance: TV Girl covered all their hits and included niche tracks for hardcore fans, but they also fooled around and had terrific audience interaction, making the night truly memorable. This is what live music should be, and I am grateful for it every day.

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