TV On The Radio intrudes on its second decade in the spotlight, wowing critics and audiences with inventive melodies, inescapable hooks, and an oscillating amalgam of genres. After taking a hiatus to master foot calligraphy, the band is back to paint the town post-punk on its 2011 tour, flexing its sonic musculature in support of its fourth studio album, Nine Types of Light. As unpredictable as a weatherman’s emotions, TOTR’s eclectic live performances swing over clamoring fans like sweaty pendulums, inspiring waves of euphoria and convulsive dancing. The enormous Canadian cabal of Broken Social Scene fills the open-air setting of this Olympic indie-rock bill along with every square inch of stage acreage. Known for atmospheric anthems, the ever-revolving charmers harbor runaway assonance, soothing and jarring audiences with more misleading time signatures than a rebellious-stopwatch petition.
Howl at the Moon’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of nightly celebrations, as patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Sam Adams and Harpoon IPA.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Royale into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “W.O.W.”, lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of their latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs.
Music connoisseurs and building buffs regard Symphony Hall as one of the finest concert halls in the world. Sixteen replicas of Greek and Roman statues line the walls, and its airy space lends a majestic resonance to each string pluck and unexpected sneeze. Opened in 1900, Symphony Hall was the first auditorium designed in accordance with scientifically derived acoustic principle, sloping inward to help focus the sound of the orchestra's stirring string renditions.
Bull McCabe's traditional Irish pub unhinges diners’ appetites with a full menu of both American and Irish pub fare. Pique taste buds with a selection of tavernesque appetizers, such as breaded mushrooms ($6) or a basket of fries ($5), before getting stomachs to bench-press heftier fare, including a half-pound Black Angus No Bull burger, cooked to order with a choice of toppings ($8). Singing duos and centaurs alike will applaud flawless pairings of Irish bangers and mash ($9) and fish and chips, made with fresh haddock ($12). Enjoy these fine eats in the easygoing atmosphere afforded by daily live-music performances, weekly karaoke and trivia contests, and yearly blinking tournaments.