Wow…..I have seen some 300 concerts in my lifetime. I have seen many bands. And now, I have seen Radiohead….and my friends, these Brits are in a class all their own. I am sure now that Radiohead is the biggest band on the planet despite not having a major radio single in more than a decade. Thom Yorke is without a doubt the greatest vocalist alive. Live they sounded both modern and futuristic at the same time. Live, they were perfect. It was a very cool Seattle summer night with sporadic rain showers, but nothing could have ruined this highly anticipated and sold-out show. I had been waiting for this show 10+ years!
The stage show was unparalleled. The set-up consisted of a large video screen as a backdrop that was split into five displays, with each band member getting his own camera angle (the sepia toned, artsy angles you may have seen in some of their videos from "In Rainbows"). In addition, there were dozens of long, skinny vertical lights resembling halogen bulbs suspended in the air and surrounding the band. These were AMAZING when the show kicked up! I could try and describe it, but words would do NO justice. Shortly after 9:00 and a forgettable opener, the event started.
What would follow was a 2 hr 35 minute, 25-song, two-encore set that lived up to every dream I had. They played all of the new record (except "House of Cards") and threw in a great mix of older tunes as well (mostly from Kid A and Amnesiac). They kicked off the show with "15 Step", just as I predicted! Jonny Greenwood is now a new musical hero! I was thrilled with surprise with the performance of 2 of my fave oldies: "Street Spirit" from "the Bends" and "Lucky" from "OK Computer". On "SS" Greenwood not only played his guitar part for the song, but also managed to play piano with his guitar's head while simultaneously playing the guitar!
During the first encore, "Idioteque" almost caused my head to explode! It was the hardest rocker of the night to me. On the second encore (YES…there were two!) Thom finally talked to the crowd when he dedicated "You And Whose Army" to anyone who was involved with the 1999 WTO protests. I could tell you about it all, but I just cannot grasp it! We did get to see that Thom is human on one favorite moment of mine. For "Faust Arp" Thom and Jonny did a nice little acoustic number. But, Yorke botched lyrics during "Faust Arp," twice! It was brilliant and the crowd ate it up! However, the pair recovered and spontaneously broke into a brief cover of some song (I later learned it was Neil Young's "Tell Me Why"), before diving back into the song and slaying it, stripped down to a bare minimal tune. The show ended brilliantly with a hair-raising rendition of "Everything In Its Right Place". I am still speechless…………….
Here are some crappy pictures and videos from my little camera. It was AMAZING! Thanks to my buddy "PB" for making it happen.
- 15 Step
- There There
- All I Need
- Pyramid Song
- Talk Show Host
- The National Anthem
- The Gloaming
- Faust Arp
- Jigsaw Falling Into Place
- Climbing Up The Walls
- Dollars and Cents
- Encore 1: How to Disappear Completely
- Arpeggi/Weird Fishes
- In Limbo
- Street Spirit
- Encore 2: You And Whose Army?
- No Surprises
- Everything In Its Right Place