Thursday, April 12, 2012

Radiohead Dreams

Three days in Santa Monica followed by three days in New York before Radiohead in Kansas City. It was a wonderful 7 days on the road. Last time I saw Radiohead was on the in rainbows tour. Atoms For Peace doesn’t count even if it was Thom playing Radiohead songs.  Full on Radiohead was last seen in Montreal, standing in the middle of Parc Jean Drapeau . It was a great gig and I didn’t think it would be 4 years till I got to see them again. I wasn’t too concerned that no East Coast dates, north of Atlanta, were announced. Obviously they would play in the North East but I still couldn’t deal with the waiting and when Mike Rockingguy Richardson told me he had a ticket for me to see the show in Kansas I booked a flight and let the excitement take over.

As I get older the small intimate settings trump the massive  arena shows. A gig at The Paradise Rock Club is far more appealing than going out to Great Woods in Mansfield. Radiohead, as is the case is with all big bands, rarely perform in small venues. They will do some theater stuff – like Atoms For Peace – but in order to meet demand they have to play the arena or the large outdoor park/amphitheater shows. However, if one band can make a 17,000 seater stadium seem like a tiny rock club its Radiohead. The quality of the production from the sound to the lightshow is so crisp that one feels like they are watching a HD recording of a show in the front room. I really didn’t notice people around me, I was completely fixed on the stage and all the magic that was unfolding right in front of me.

The boys were in a jovial mood. It was certainly the most animated Thom Yorke I’ve ever seen. Thom is not one for too much crowd interaction so it was very surprising to see him joke around with other band members while talking to the crowd about everything from annoying dogs to the random and strange day he was having. The mood of the band was as infectious as the music. Its easy to tell a band that is going through the motions and a band that is truly enjoying their music. This was the happiest Thom Yorke I’ve ever seen. 

The set lists have been pretty consistent with 5 or 6 songs of 23-24 changing. We were lucky to get 2 tour debut songs Super Collider from the record store day release and the amazing How To Disappear Completely, which left everyone feeling numb. Magic stuff. The actual setlist is below,
01 Bloom
02 15 Step
03 Morning Mr Magpie
04 Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
05 All I Need
06 Pyramid Song
07 The Daily Mail
08 Supercollider (tour debut)
09 Nude
10 Identikit (with false start)
11 Lotus Flower
12 There There
13 Feral
14 How To Disappear Completely (tour debut)
15 Reckoner

16 Separator
17 Myxomatosis
18 Idioteque
19 Lucky
20 Everything In Its Right Place

21 Give Up The Ghost
22 Paranoid Android

The highlights for me were the entire encore, Identikit false start and all, and All I Need which I thought sounded even more haunting and beautiful than I remembered.  During Myxomatosis the crowd started losing it, when Idioteque kicked off before we could get a breath I knew the night would go down as one of the best Radiohead shows I've seen. For the final track it was between Street Spirit and Paranoid Android - I believe SS was on the set list. Given the energetic response from the crowd Paranoid Android was the right choice. It closed out an amazing night. Mike, Jen, and I left the gig speechless and given about 25+ Radiohead shows between the two of us that says a lot. 

The Boston, Montreal, and Toronto shows can't come soon enough. The boys are really on right now, and nothing seems to phase them. To see Thom laugh and poke fun at Clive for his mistake during Identikit was so uplifting. It made me really happy and sharing these experiences with good friends and fellow Radiohead fanatics leaves a lasting impression. Everything in its right place.

Peace and Love,


Never seen or hear Thom act so playfully before.