Sat 17 May – Radiohead, Liars
My first time seeing Radiohead
, and an amazing concert. Probably the best I've been to, though Muse comes close because I was much closer to the stage for Muse (if I had been equally close for Radiohead I have no doubt this would easily be my favorite show). Liars
opened, and I thought they were interesting, and enjoyed them overall. Their sound didn't seem to translate well to the large open-air venue, though. Rain threatened during Liars but fortunately it held off. Burial
was played between Liars and Radiohead, which was cool (I hear Radiohead are fans). At last Radiohead entered onstage to some wack sounding electronic music, and it began.
Here's a track by track recap:
1. 15 Step
15 Step seemed slightly out of whack at first, but Radiohead quickly got on their game, and made it into a great opener (I was very happy they opened with 15 Step and not with All I Need as they did many other shows on the tour).
As much as I like Bodysnatchers, it was underwhelming live. I attribute most of this to the fact that they were too quiet at the beginning of the show. During a later song (I don't recall which) the volume was noticeably turned up midsong, and the feel was much improved by it. But Bodysnatchers suffered cause of the quiet volume.
Brilliantly done. As with Bodysnatchers, I felt they weren't loud enough during the choruses, but it wasn't as big of a problem. Jonny's last guitar solo was mindblowing.
4. Morning Bell
Seemed like a pretty standard performance of Morning Bell. I love the little outburst right before the "Cut the kids in half" part.
One of my favorites off In Rainbows, but honestly live I found it slightly dull, because it was virtually identical to the album version, moreso than any other song during the concert. Thom's singing was perfect though.
6. Pyramid Song
Beautiful, beautiful. Some asshat in front of me started raising his camera up and blocking my view of the stage during this one, but there was an absolutely beautiful view of the moon shining through the clouds so I gazed at that during the song. Made it even more haunting than normal.
7. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Well played. The visuals were perfectly fitting, very blue and enhanced the feeling of being underwater that was already present in the song. Ed's backing vocals were beautiful as usual.
8. The Gloaming
Wow. I'd never been a fan of The Gloaming, but it is FANTASTIC live. The lighting was eerie, with a futuristic green glow silhouetting the dark shapes of the band members. Thom got his dance on, and the bass was earth-shattering. One of the highlights of the show.
9. The National Anthem
I love this song so much. The radio-tuning trick, though I'd heard it before, was mindblowing, and the effect of a radio commercial melding perfectly with a fuzzy bass riff was simultaneously comical and awe-inspiring.
10. Faust Arp
Pretty. It's a little bare without the strings present on the album version, but it was a refreshing break.
Honestly this is probably my least favorite song on In Rainbows (though still good), and it wasn't any better or worst live, really. Though the erratic-sounding percussion started earlier in the song, if I remember right. Also Videotape seemed a bit odd in the middle of the set, it's such a...final song.
Yaaay, one of my favorites off Kid A. I'm really glad Radiohead's brought Optimistic back for this tour. The middle section where Thom sings "I'd really like to help you man, I'd really like to help you man" made me shiver.
13. Where I End and You Begin
The visualization was really neat for this one, a trippy spinning type thingy. I dunno. Anyway great performance, although it was a bit strange hearing it without the memorable ondes martenot bit from Jonny, and the guitar riff in the middle was slightly changed.
Equally as beautiful as the album version, though, like Nude, it felt a bit too predictable. That didn't detract from its magnificence though, and it's probably just a byproduct of me listening to In Rainbows too much.
15. Everything in Its Right Place
I loved the words scrolling across the tubes on this one. The sampling of Thom's vocals wasn't as cool and trippy as I hoped it'd be, but no complaints, really.
16. All I Need
Another of my lesser favorites off In Rainbows, but it was peaceful live. The beat felt much more pronounced and hip-hop-like.
17. There There
Yes yes yes. Sent tingles down my spine. I'm not gonna even try to describe this song. The explosion was perfect.
18. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Thom seemed to struggle with singing so low for the first half of the song, but that made it all the more uplifting when he finally burst into the higher octave with "the beat goes ROUND AND ROUND."
19. House of Cards
The percussion was much more...pronounced than on the album, a change for the better, and it seemed like they slightly altered the chords played. I have mixed feelings on House of Cards...while it's peaceful and soothing, it really was the only time during the concert I ever came anywhere close to being bored.
20. Climbing Up the Walls
HELL YES. I jumped up and down when I heard the intro to this song start. The screen had vaguely disturbing shapes morphing, which fit perfectly. Jonny did his radio trick again, which didn't work as well as on The National Anthem, but it was still neat. The freakout at the end was perfect, though I didn't see Thom scream. He did yell into his pickups towards the end though. Extremely happy that they played this gem off OK Computer.
21. Planet Telex
Easily the most rockin' song played. Also easily the loudest. This is how Bodysnatchers should have been played. It also happens to be my current favorite song off the Bends. A definite highlight.
22. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Not much to say here. I'm not as enamored with Street Spirit as many other fans are, but I can't deny its beauty. It was somewhat surprising to see Street Spirit present, but not as a closer.
23. You and Whose Army?
Hehehe. Thom had me cracking up with his camera antics. A welcome relief between all the srs songs, but I would've liked for it to come earlier than the second-to-last song.
WOW. Wow. Wooooow. I completely forgot about Idioteque up until when the beat started. Definitely the peak of the concert, and a brilliant closer. EVERYONE was shouting the words along and dancing. No other song could've left me as stunned at the end as Idioteque did, other than perhaps Paranoid Android.
All in all, a great setlist, and a great show. However I must echo what I'm sure is a common complaint these days, and say I wish they had played more OK Computer. We got Lucky and Climbing Up the Walls, which were both brilliant, but I would've loved one of either Airbag, Paranoid Android, or The Tourist. Hell, any other song off OKC would've been great, but those especially.
On the other hand, I didn't mind the lack of Bends material. Fake Plastic Trees is the only one that would've impressed me, I think.
Overall, BRILLIANT, I recommend seeing Radiohead to any madman who wouldn't already see them at first chance. Can't wait to see them again.