Sunday, May 11, 2008

Concert Review: Radiohead in Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Maria Carullo

Despite barely being able to see the actual band members from my seat, Radiohead's performance was absolutely enthralling. This was my first time seeing them live since 1997 and I was glad to see they could impress in a 19,000 seat venue like they could in the 1,000 seat venue I saw them perform in 11 years ago. They could've been playing under one bare 40 watt light bulb and blown everyone away, but their light show on this tour was mesmerizing. Long, thin vertical tubes dominated the stage and bathed the band in a variety of spectral colors throughout the evening to match the wide palette of aural colors coming through the speakers. They opened with "All I Need," which has been the opening song for every show of the tour so far. Opening with a slow song like that is against typical rock convention (especially when the new album contains a real rocker like "Bodysnatchers") but Radiohead have never been one for convention.

They played all of In Rainbows except for "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" and even included "Bangers and Mash" from the In Rainbows box set bonus disc. "15 Step," "Nude," and "Videotape" were other standout performances from In Rainbows. "Videotape" included an interesting view of Thom Yorke via a camera mounted on the piano that seemed to find him being semi-playful with the audience. I was happy to hear songs from the tours I missed between OK Computer and In Rainbows like "Pyramid Song," "Idiotheque," "The National Anthem" and "Everything In It's Right Place."

Despite my love of The Bends, "Just" actually struck me as a bit out of place in the setlist. It's a song I adore (and my favorite music video of all time), but something like "Street Spirit" or "Bullet Proof" would've fit the overall mood of the evening a bit better. That being said, they rocked it though. The inclusion of "Paranoid Android" was nice and it made its first appearance on the tour in Atlanta. To their credit, they're a band that has put out so much quality material now that you couldn't possibly hope to hear all that you want to hear. Even the "surely they'll play ______" songs are too numerous to all be performed, so I can forgive them for passing on personal favorites of mine like "Climbing Up the Walls" for something like "Lucky."

My only real complaint about the evening was that the P.A. wasn't loud enough. I could easily hear those around me talking in a normal speaking voice. Maybe it was because I was in the 46th row, but I would've liked a bit more volume. If that's the only complaint one has during a 24 song set though, then you've seen a pretty amazing evening of music.

08 June 2008
Lakewood Amphitheatre
Atlanta, Georgia

All I Need
There There
15 Step
Where I End and You Begin
Pyramid Song
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
The National Anthem
You and Whose Army
Everything in Its Right Place
Bangers and Mash

The Gloaming
Talk Show Host
Faust Arp
How to Disappear Completely

Encore 2:
Paranoid Android
House of Cards

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