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Radiohead

Upon entering the concert that night I had many expectations having never seen Radiohead perform live before, but I was prepared for anything. From the look of the crowd that looked more like they had just come from a cubicle than were about to take in a live show I figured it would be pretty laidback and I felt a little out of  place I usually expect to see people I know when out at a show and this night I was wondering if I would see anyone hat I knew and wondered if that was a good or a bad thing.

I was immediately greeted in typical concert going fashion by someone hitting me up for a smoke he offered e a dollar which I declined and gave him one as he told me that I just happened to smoke his brand then proceeded to tell me he has been a long time fan and listener of Radiohead, he told me I could expect a great show full of lights and video screens (which I kind of expected), he then told me how he once was fired from a job due to taking off to go see them, he summed up our little conversation with, “You’ll get to see Thom doing his thing…he isn’t much to look at,” to which I replied, “Yeah, but that isn’t why we came.”

I have been a fan of Radiohead since their first album Pablo Honey and I will admittedly say that “Creep”

has become a personal anthem of mine and has always been one of my all time favorite songs. I kept up with the band

and liked most of what I heard until Hail to the Thief when I lost touch with them for some reason, so I am not as

familiar with their most recent work. Even though they may have lost me at one point I feel they are a very

talented band that has played a major role in influencing other bands and music in general.

Caribou, the opening act could certainly be classified as one of those bands, and though they looked like a

cheaper, younger carbon copy of the great act that they had the dubious job of opening up the show for, they put on

a decent set and were interesting to watch and not bad to listen to either, but honestly I couldn’t help to think

the whole time about the kind of set Radiohead was about to put on after them and I am certain I was not the only

one.

When I made it back down to see the mass of instruments on stage as well as off stage for Radiohead I

almost felt sorry for Caribou, but was even more excited for the show I was about to see, although Caribou had some

lights and fog of their own it failed in comparison to the wall of lights on stage behind the band that was about

to go on after them. Along with what at final count I think was 12 giant LCD moveable video screens that would

continuously flicker close-ups of the band and move about throughout the show not to mention the row of them that

would do the same sitting stationary above the stage it would be a little much to absorb at times.  Though the band

themselves were pretty dull to watch the show itself was not. The rich vibrant colors of all the lights and video

screens that were synched up in time to match the music was a great compliment and made me wonder if it took added

concentration to play through their set without any mistakes.

Thom Yorke the bands frontman however, was not boring to watch for a moment from the instant they took the

stage before ever touching an instrument to the last chord he played during their second encore he was mesmerizing.

He seemed to be in his own world gyrating about as he sang in a beautiful eerie raspy voice feeling every word that

emanated from him. At one point I heard someone blurt out,

“Thom Yorke is tripping on acid,” and from the looks of things he very well could have been, but

nonetheless his vocals were remarkable and spot on and washed over the music like a perfectly tuned instrument and

complimented it better than I imagine anyone else could’ve. You could definitely tell this band had played together

for a while and was very technical and tight. Their signature sound came through in every note they played and made

me wonder just how many current bands they have influenced. Flea the bass player of the Red Hot Chili Peppers who

had a show at US Bank Arena the very next night was in attendance, and between sitting at times (appearing to hide

from being recognized) stood and clapped his hands and nodded his head in approval. I couldn’t help noticing my

seat was better than his and took joy in that very much.

I wouldn’t recommend someone prone to seizures or that has ADD to check out a Radiohead show, but I would

however recommend them to any fan of great music especially that sprinkled with electronic elements and accompanied

by an intimidating light show. I wasn’t left wanting except maybe for them to have played my anthem Creep which I

didn’t expect them to play anyway or to be more animated on stage as Thom was, other than that I thoroughly enjoyed

their set and was glad I went and would gladly go see them in the future. And I have no doubt even after having

seen them would be overcome with just as much  anticipation and curiosity as to what I would see once they took to

the stage.

 

Ryan Freeman

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