Thursday, May 15, 2008

Concert Review: Radiohead

Radiohead is early into their North American tour and they stopped in St. Louis last night to play at the Verizon Amphitheater (formerly Riverport). In a curious move, they did not allow the video screens to be used. I don’t know if that extended to the lawn section, but the screens were turned off for the concert. There was a screen behind the stage that showed the perspective of several stationary cameras that were focused on various members of the band all night. They showed with some cool effects and maybe that is the reason behind turning the big screens off. The actual stage itself was nothing fancy, just the band and its equipment. And equipment! Jonny, Ed and Thom changed instruments after every song. Above the stage and extending down almost to the front of the stage were these tubes that reflected a very creative and artistic light show.

Not a lot of chatter between songs. I don’t mind that at all. The last thing I want at a concert that I spent $60 for is for some Brit to tell me how to vote or how bad our government is. The only political statements I saw were Tibetan flags draping Thom’s piano and another one off to the side of the stage.

It was fun watching my wife’s reaction to Thom’s “dancing”. She didn’t know much about them and if you didn’t know what he was doing, you’d think it was a bit. Thom Yorke looks like a cross between Clay Aiken and Ed Grimley.

The band sounded excellent. It was pretty crowded, but the crowd did not sound very vocal, but that is due to the outdoor amphitheater affect. The show began with an odd choice (I felt) “All I Need” from In Rainbows. They played all of the songs off of their new cd. Only one b-side song played all night (“Bangers and Mash”).

The first five or so songs were kind of laid back but they ramped up the volume and the mood soon after. Best song of the night was “Bodysnatchers” off the new release. Second best song was “My Iron Lung,” third was “Fake Plastic Trees.” My wife loved “Idioteque”, “My Iron Lung” and “You and Who’s Army” which featured Thom on piano mugging into a tiny camera. Biggest reactions from the crowd were to “Fake Plastic Trees” and “Paranoid Android” (which I always thought was overrated, but they knocked it out of the park last night).

We had great weather, and the show was fantastic. For some reason, I enjoyed "There There" the most (it's my second favorite song by them). The more that I reflect on the evening, this show may have been in my top three shows that I have ever enjoyed. The band got better as the night went on. I have heard how good they are live, and I experienced true musical greatness last night.

Full Set List:

All I Need
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
15 Steps
Faust Arp
Kid A
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
The Gloaming
You and Who’s Army
Nude (with only Thom and Jonny on acoustic guitars)
Everyone in Its Right Place
Bangers and Mash
Encore #1
Exit Music (for a Film)
My Iron Lung
There There
Fake Plastic Trees
Encore #2
Pyramid Song
House of Cards
Paranoid Android

Below is a sampling of Thom's dancing during "Idioteque" from last night. Ignore the sound, watch Ed Grimley work.


WHP said...

did they not play Weird fishes/ Arpeggi?
when they came to DC that was the best song of the night, with Bodysnatchers a close second, which makes me think that body snatchters might be their best live song.

Anonymous said...

They DID play it... must have been left out of the setlist by mistake??? It was one of the best songs of the night.

billy v said...

They did play it, I left it off somehow. It is on the crumpled up envelope I wrote the play list on. My personal highlight was There There, I got into that song more than any other.

brandonmc said...

should i go see them? maybe i would regret not going to see them in dallas.

billy v said...

Brandon, if you can go, then GO!

The MAN Fan Club said...

Once again I shake my head. Either in amazement at your musical diversity, or in disappointment in my lake of musical knowledge and experience. I think the only band I've enjoyed in the last 5 years would be The Fray. Don't give me that scowl.

Melophobe said...

I'm glad you liked our video and thanks for the link. We made several more though that you might be interested in watching. Check it out:

billy v said...

found the clip through the Riverfront Times, great pics on your site from the show. good work.

Anonymous said...

Quick get him off the stage before he fries... seriously, it looks like he is being shocked w/ a taser


Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.