adriaan@ateaseweb.com

18-06-01

Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavillion, Houston, USA



01. National Anthem
02. Morning Bell
03. Lucky
04. My Iron Lung
05. Knives Out
06. Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box
07. Bones
08. Exit Music (For a Film)
09. No Surprises
10. Dollars and Cents
11. Karma Police
12. I Might Be Wrong
13. Pyramid Song
14. Paranoid Android
15. Idioteque
16. Everything In Its Right Place
--1st encore--
17. You And Whose Army?
18. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
19. Climbing Up The Walls
20. How To Disappear
--2nd encore--
21. Talk Show Host
22. The Bends

thanks to Mark Millard & Andrew Nelson for the corrected setlist

Pyramid Song ("This is a song about past lives"), thom introduced "paranoid android" with the following: "this next one's for everyone in the back...SMOKIN' WEED!" so then everybody who still had pot left lit up, Talk Show Host was dedicated to REM There was no opening band (beta band) when we got there, (their van broke down) some DJ chick was spinning records, then some weird old Jazz music was being played. They came onstage as it became dark... And ended at 10:51 Things Thom said: "Thank You" "Thank you. You Good people of Texas and the surrounding. ... With you heads in The Traffic. (Or Without any Traffic) You don't have that problem here do you? Where we come from (then the audcience screams "Yes! We Do." cos we were all stuck in traffic getting there.) And he's like: "Really? You have so much space here you'd think you could just go off road." "This one's for the people in the back. (We all yell) Smoking Weed! You'll all high back there aren't you? This one's called, I'm not telling you" "The last time we were here we were supporting REM. So this one is Dedicated to them with all our love." (that was part of the 2 part encore, i dont know the songs) "This one is about past lives." "This is for people who are walking down the street and see things that aren't strickly there. If this is a regular accurance for you, this one is for you." At one point a beach ball went up stage and Ed or Colin kicked it off. Thom let the audience sing into the microphone. Thom seemeed Happy. Jonny was Hot. Ed was goofy. Trent Reznor was checkin out the show in disguise. He was wearin the boots he always wears and big glasses. We recognized him and got his autograph!!!!!

by Mark W. Modgling
last night's show was astounding. the stage setup was new for radiohead, having seven 15-foot columns holding a dozen or so bright white horizontal lights...very flashy, jumping up and down, flashing in unison. (is this what they used in europe?) the light show was really great, the faster songs, like "the national anthem", used all of these lights, along with the typical colored flashers and spotlights. soft, solid colors were used for songs like "lucky", "no surprises", and "exit music". there were three monitors set up for on-the-hill viewing, and the pictures were great, with black and white stage images, grainy and sketchy ala "meeting people is easy". as far as songs go, most were played very traditionally, but two were performed completely different from their studio versions. "packt like sardines" was crazy. i swear it sounded like somebody had an amped-up kazoo. "knives out" sounded splendid, and it seemed like they played the music fast, but thom seemed to sing it even slower. (oh yeah, they played the kid a version of "morning bell".) after they opened, thom welcomed "texas and the surrounding", and then remarked about how easy it must be to get around "here" versus "where we're from", since there's so much "space". he asked the audience if there was any traffic getting there (my commute was a good two hours and i'm from houston), and he said he thought that was "hard to believe" and that he thought we could all "just off-road it".

by Jonathan Jindra
The night started, and I rode to the concert with other people. They were mild Radiohead fans, and there was tons of traffic. I felt like I was going to explode. The concert said it started at 7:30. I got there at 8pm, and asked people "What happened to the Beta Band?" Aparently their bus broke down, so they were replaced with some DJ playing mellow techno tracks. So I thought I would wait for them with my girlfriend while buying a shirt. Then from in the hallway,I heard the crowd scream, and the heavy bass for National Anthem started. I think I heard 5 people (including me) scream "FUCKING SHIT ITS RADIOHEAD" National Anthem was one of the highlights. Added electronic effects were added, that gave the some more intensity. Thom was rocking out on the guitar. The entire night thom was in a terrific mood. He talked to the crowd alot, and was very active.During idioteque I wanted him to do his "worm dance", because I was telling everybody I knew how cool it was. And we he started doing it i started cheering wildly, and the crowd loved it. Only this time, he seemed to jumped upand down flailing his arms more. During you and Whose Army, thom played piano, and systematically just turn around and wave is armsto the crowd really fast, and the crowd would do the same. Then he sang "you and your cronies", and on "cronies" he couldnt finish the word, and started laughing. I'm not sure why, maybe people were saying things to him from the pit. During Exit Music,there was dead silence in the crowd, and people lit their lighters, and it was very majestic, and beautiful. My girlfriend remarked "lets make love right now, this is the perfect mood in a song". I considered it, then said "not now......its radiohead!" The crowd sung along with "this is what you'll get". In Texas thom should have changed the line to "this is what ya'll get." haha Climbing up the Walls was badass. Instead of the screeching guitar solo, jonny played that weird finger thing that he uses during How to Disappear completely, and the National Anthem. The highlight of the evening had to be Talk Show Host. It had an extended ending where thom just jammed with his guitar with this "liquid whirring" effect to it, and just wanted to float away during it. Radiohead was amazing the entire night, I cannot wait to see them again. - Jonathan J.

by Ryan Harrison
The show was AMAZING. The band was perfect, the songs were excellent, and the lights were breathtaking. Thom was in an excellent mood, playing with the crowd in the middle of songs at a couple of points during the show (especially during "You And Whose Army"). He also mentioned that the last time they were here was in 1995 when they were supporting REM (which was the last time I saw them), and dedicated Talk Show Host to REM. For some reason the Beta Band didn't play, instead there was a female DJ spinning records, I forgot her name. The setlist was great, although I missed "Airbag" and "Planet Telex". Nevertheless, it was a show I'll never forget and definitely one of the best I've ever seen.

by Rainer Schusler
the show was better than i could have ever expected. sure, there were a few little disappointments such as no tour shirts on sale or bad seats for me or even to have no fellow radiohead fans for friends. but that was okay, it was going to be my first concert ever and i was gonna see one of my favorite bands with three of my closest friends and i was gonna enjoy it, and i did. the show started about 90 mins late, but just when it became dark. the colored lights came on and were intense even on the hill where i was, and the band began with the national anthem. the sound then and through the rest of the show couldn't have possibly been better with thom's voice clear and at perfect levels with the rest of the music. the band played most the songs from the new album such as pyramid song, i might be wrong, knives out, packt like sardines in a crushed tin box, you and whose army, and dollars and cents. also some older material was performed such as the kid a songs everything in it's right place, morning bell, ideoteque, how to disappear completely, and then even older stuff like karma police, lucky, my iron lung, no suprises, exit music, and the show ended with the bends. after two hours and about twenty songs, me and my friends were stunned. we left and they all agreed it was so much better then they thought it would be, and i was very happy with a great first-concert experience.
-RAINER SCHUHSLER, 16

by Ryan Gabbart

the show was AMAZING, even for us folks back on the lawn. the whole band was energetic and i thought they would never stop playing. but unfortuantely...they did. i found the newer songs from the past 2 albums to be much more entertaining than anything else, with the high
points of the night during "dollars & cents" and "idioteque". the music is written for a different interpretation in a live setting. trust me,
they pull this element of their show off perfectly. there was never a weak spot all night. even my friend who had never heard radiohead other than "creep" thought it was damned spectacular! coming from him, that's a compliment.

ryan

by Galen McQuillen

It was easily the most incredible thing i've ever seen... Simply astounding. Thom Yorke was in high spirits and excited all night long, and his enthusiasm made the entire concert incredible. Ideoteque and Climbing up the Walls were the most electrifying versions of the song i've ever heard...Exit Music made me cry, and Paranoid Android was by far the pinnacle of the concert, and of my life to this point. The encores were marked with Talk show host, you and whose army, and the whole thing was capped off with an explosive The Bends. Simply unbeleivable...the perfect start for the perfect band's tour of the USA. Galen McQuillen

by Jennifer Kristoff

The show was spectacular...not a dull moment in sight. Thom seemed to enjoy himself all night. During "You and Whose Army" he was playing piano with his back turned to the audience. He would turn around and lift his hand in the air and the audience would scream, then he would drop his hand and the crowd would be silenced. He was so amused that he missed a few of the lyrics. I was sitting pretty close but was amazed when I turned around and saw how many people had actually showed up. He referred to Ed, Jonny, Colin and Phil as his "brothers" and thanked us countless times for coming to see them. I utterly enjoyed myself, even if I spent over $500 to get into those seats...it was well worth it. Jennifer Kristoff

by SN1002

This was the best concert I've attended in my life, followed doggedly by thier more exclusive '98 show at Aerial. This was the band's first time to headline a large venue in Houston, and you could tell by the number of friends-of-fans sporting Abercrombie on the lawn. Despite the late or non-recognition of album cuts and thier most ubiquitous b-side by the majority of the crowd, Thom and the rest were in high spirits, a stark contrast to thier last gig here at the height of thier MPIE days. Talk Show Host was the indisputable apex of the show, I am always amazed by how strong that song just finishes, collapsing into a highly percussive, hypnotic, and LOUD outro which evoked in '96 the same feelings which the band has developed with the last two albums. Anyone who had the priveledge of seeing the band off OK Computer / Airbag will notice a dramatic change in mood, with Thom actually bantering with the crowd and laughing at himself during You and Whose Army. I can now see the wisdom in Thom's decision to explore a new approach to music-making with the last two albums: it truly has saved the band's sanity. The band showed a firm commitment to meeting the challenge of rendering live the intricate craftsmanship of this new sound, while thier mastery of conventional composition and thier pride in thier previous work hadn't faltered a bit. In fact, at several points the band seemed to be letting out thier frustrations with all the new gizmos on thier guitars. A careful examination of the playlist ith show a pattern of following up pairs of the more challenging, synthetic songs with the old guitar anthems. The expanding breadth of thier work and the fact that they were actually supporting twins this time allowed for a much longer set, with the main emphasis seeming to be on Kid A rather than Amnesiac. Despite the fact that this was obviously a better show, I couldn't help but wish to be seeing it back at the more somber and immediate confines of Aerial surrounded by true fans (that show sold out in 4 minutes!). The only note of dissapointment was that the band didn't choose to debut any new or unreleased material, nor did any of the b-sides off Amnesiac make the cut. I remember vividly hearing Palo Alto for the first time live, thinking to myself what a great song it was then discovering it on the EP a month later. The only other suprise was that Thom wasn't playing on his old Alvarez, he had some new live acoustic (yes this one had a sound hole, he even sang into it during Climbing up the Walls, I believe). If anyone knows why he chose to ditch that guitar, please respond on this thread.

by Richard Skanse (RollingStone.com)

Between the precocious headphone symphony Kid A and the decidedly understated songs of Amnesiac, Radiohead have gone to great lengths in the last couple of years to distance themselves from the melodic guitar rock they built their name upon. But in the span of two hours Monday night at the Woodlands Pavilion in Houston, the maiden performance of their first tour on U.S. soil in more than three years, they re-embraced it with an intensity only slightly less brazen than U2's current self-proclaimed campaign to reapply for the job of the best rock band in the world.
"I'm bored with the whole rock thing, aren't you?" droned frontman Thom Yorke in an interview last year. Either he's had a change of heart, it was all just a put-on, or -- true to Amnesiac's title -- he's forgotten about all that. With or without a guitar strapped around his neck, Yorke looked anything but tired of even the basest rock conventions as he led the band through a twenty-two-song set that not only revisited the finest moments of 1995's guitar-driven The Bends and 1997's prog rock opus OK Computer, but also transformed brooding Kid A and Amnesiac fare like "Morning Bell" and "Knives Out" into full-blown anthems.

Yorke's enthusiasm frequently bordered on boyish and grew in intensity as the night wore on. When the sold-out crowd at the open-air amphitheater erupted into a roar of recognition at the opening strains of "My Iron Lung" four songs into the set, Yorke smiled and pumped his fist in the air in an excitable "raise the roof" gesture. During the first encore, as he sat at a piano with his back to the audience to sing Amnesiac's "You and Whose Army?," he stopped several times to look over his shoulder, grin mischievously and wave his arm for a response. During "Bones," from The Bends, he strutted from one side of the stage to other striking poses reminiscent of U2's Bono. "Is it loud enough for ya?" he asked amiably after "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box," a song he began with a brief aside about traffic jams in England. "You don't have those here, do you?" he asked the Texas crowd. "You do? But you have so much space -- can't you just off-road?"

But for all of Yorke's stage charm and visible good humor, the music remained the evening's true revelation. The Bends and OK Computer selections received the most fervent reactions, particularly the epic "Paranoid Android," "Karma Police" and show-closing "The Bends" (sung by Yorke in the style of Johnny Rotten), but the energy generated from those only enhanced the Amnesiac songs with a newfound majesty. Propelled by Ed O'Brien's driving rhythm guitar and punctuated by dramatic squawks of lead work by Jonny Greenwood, "I Might Be Wrong" surged with intensity. Yorke rose to the occasion, his eerily beautiful voice tapping a melodic vein in the chorus only hinted at on the album. The more experimental Kid A material fared even better. Although the opening "The National Anthem" lacked the tumultuous, jazzy kicker of the album version, the band had no problem recreating Kid A's multitude of electronic effects, thanks to Greenwood's synthesizer and arsenal of other assorted gizmos, including a transistor radio and a sampler he used to capture and manipulate Yorke's voice during "Everything in Its Right Place." Near the end of the song, Yorke turned his mike on the crowd, and a second later Greenwood was weaving the sampled applause in and out of the mix.

The band's crowning achievement, however, was the pulsating Kid A stand-out, "Idioteque." Kicked along by Phil Selway's mechanically precise drum beat, the song was performed completely sans guitar, with Greenwood and O'Brien hunched over effects boxes, bassist Colin Greenwood manning a synthesizer and Yorke delivering his most frenzied vocal of the evening, his body jerking spastically as though wracked with volts of electricity on every beat. A minute after the song ended, he was still wired; as the applause winded down and roadies set up his piano for "Everything in Its Right Place," Yorke looked out over the crowd like a conquerer and spontaneously snarled "Idioteque"'s lyric, "Ice age coming!/Ice age coming!" a capella for a fresh roar of approval.

It was an electrifying moment in an evening full of them. However far astray Yorke and Co.'s collective muse may take them in the future, performances like this will prove that they've yet to run out of ways to inspire with -- and just as importantly, be inspired by -- rock. Whatever they come up with in the studio, in a live setting, everything with Radiohead is in its right place.

by Michael D. Clark (HoustonChronicle.com)

There was a reason that Radiohead's last two albums, Kid A and the recently released Amnesiac, were a mystery. Until the North American debut of its long-awaited tour at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, the ambient electronica built for a science-fiction love story lacked visual accompaniment.

Like trying to watch a movie without sound or musical theater without an orchestra, listening to Radiohead's thick layers of strings over synth and wails without seeing how they're produced is a half-empty experience.

Monday at The Woodlands it suddenly came into focus.

Songs that once felt confusing or frustrating on disc pulsated to life. The arc of Radiohead's music suddenly had a vitality and necessity like anything Pink Floyd ever did. The English band -- once mistaken for a grunge group -- no longer builds songs and singles. It builds albums with stories, cliffhangers and sequels.

The crowd of slightly more than 17,000 at the sold-out show wasn't necessarily looking for clarity. Many were just hoping for a live experience matching the heavily decorated and well-thought-out melodies of Kid A and Amnesiac. They got it and more.

Through two hours and 22 songs, Radiohead offered a discourse on how its more recent, eclectic rock progresses from past radio-accessible hits like Karma Police and Fake Plastic Trees. Then it went one step further, tearing down the curtain for a look at how music for computers in love can be made primarily on a basic rock set-up of guitar, bass and drum.

The show was a coming-out party for Thom Yorke, the delicate, boyish face behind the most beautiful modern-rock swoon since Bryan Ferry and Morrissey. Staring at the crowd he had the toothy, helpless grin of a young boy about to sit on Santa Claus' lap for the first time. His lidless eyes and muscle-maligned frame are countered by a voice that climbs scales without effort.

On earlier tours, Yorke didn't always appear to enjoy his vocal therapy. Now playful and engaging, he's the next best hope for pasty-skinned everymen with dreams of hunkiness.

Joined by the rest of Radiohead -- guitarists Ed O'Brien and Jonny Greenwood, bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway -- the casualness was a contrast to the music. A relatively inexpensive stage of fluorescent office lighting, foil and colorful icicle lights gave no hint of the complex concepts about to be set to tune.

Opening with the simple seven-note bass loop and echoes of The National Anthem, Radiohead went to work giving its android a heart. They chose the more rigid Morning Bell from Kid A over the over-emotive second scoring from Amnesiac (the only song on both albums), allowing Yorke to find a middle ground while sitting at the keyboard.

One of the finest compliments a band can be given about its performance is that hits weren't necessary to make it complete. Radiohead bypassed three of its biggest early favorites on opening night -- the flannel feedback of Creep and ballads High and Dry and Fake Plastic Trees -- and no one was worse off for it.

Instead, the group attached itself to lesser-known early gems from its 1998 The Bends album, including the title track and My Iron Lung. The songs empowered Yorke with a swagger and growl of familiar comfort at the mike. The structure and traditional guitar of these tracks, however, were like a space-age Speak N' Spell compared to the free-form of new material.

Radiohead found no space for any of the songs from its 8 year-old debut album Pablo Honey. Even Bones and Street Spirit, the other two attempts from The Bends, didn't quite mesh. The true jumpoff point centered on a medley of songs by the group's most widespread masterpiece, 1997's OK Computer.

The dividing line between the Radiohead that followed the songwriting rules and the band that fell into its own subconscious, OK Computer's serenade started with Yorke and an acoustic guitar on Exit Music (For a Film). The accompaniment to a junkie on a high, the song slowly builds: First it's Jonny Greenwood's organ joining on the bridge, followed by synthetic voices on the second verse and culminating in a psychedelic slide guitar and Selway's snare beats on the chorus.

The song brought a high only controlled by the xylophone-tapped lullaby of No Surprises and military strikes of Karma Police. Four years since they were originally released there are still few songs that have the emotive labyrinth of any of them.

Interpolating the old with the new, it's much easier to see the evolution of Radiohead's current Amnesiac. New single Knives Out is reminiscent of the post-punk guitar detachment of the Cure and the Smiths while Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box is self-descriptive. The hollow metal beat and waves of motion might be what the world sounds like to pilchards trapped inside a can.

Yorke toyed with the crowd through the entire show, mimicking its effusiveness and directing its applause like an orchestra conductor when at the piano. But when he belted out the Sardine chorus, "I'm a reasonable man. Get off my case," he appeared dead serious.

It's a deserved response to those who felt Radiohead had steered its career into an ether. After seeing the live show, it's clear the group is just fine. Audience members unwilling to extend their ears a bit toward the new and uncomfortable are the lost ones.

by RadioheadPhd@aol.com

After a month of patience and anticipation June 18 finally arrived. And following our 9 hour drive from Florida we found the C.W. Mitchell Pavillion without trouble,parked and headed twords the gates. It was a beautiful Houston evening and everyone seemed to be glowing and happy. There was a great vibe in the air. We entered the Pavillion, which is a lovely ampitheatre, and staked out a good spot on the lawn and just enjoyed the atmosphere. The opening band, Beta Band, would not be playing---I overheard they had transportation problems so around 8PM a local DJ (DJ Andrea) played alone for a short set and just after 8:30 the lights went down. The cowd was going crazy. I heard Jonny's radio so I knew what was coming. The National Anthem greeted us with its thundering bass riff and there they were, the Oxford gods were finally on stage. The band seemed to be in great spirits, especially Thom who was jumping around, high fiving the front row, and doing his wild dancing. This continued thru the entire show. The 'Kid A' version of Morning Bell followed, which sounds great live. Next up was a favorite,'Lucky' and then a blistering version of 'My Iron Lung'-the crowd was nuts with everyone dancing and singing. 'Knives Out' was next and really blew me away--one of my favorite new songs. I won't go thru every song but one that stands out was 'Climbing Up The Walls'. It sounded like Jonny's radio was tuned into cartoons,; this song is so powerful live! The boys were in rare form and at the top of their game. No band in the world can compare to a live Radiohead experience,they simply can not be matched. This was my 4th Radiohead concert and the best so far. Houston was an unforgettable night. Everything was in its right place. The band was happy, the pavillion was choice, and the crowd seemed to realize they were in the presence of sheer brilliance I look forward to seeing them in Atlanta at the end of July. THANK YOU RADIOHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Shaun Nelson
This was the best concert I've attended in my life, followed doggedly by thier more exclusive '98 show at Aerial. This was the band's first time to headline a large venue in Houston, and you could tell by the number of friends-of-fans sporting Abercrombie on the lawn. Despite the late or non-recognition of album cuts and thier most ubiquitous b-side by the majority of the crowd, Thom and the rest were in high spirits, a stark contrast to thier last gig here at the height of thier MPIE days. Talk Show Host was the indisputable apex of the show, I am always amazed by how strong that song just finishes, collapsing into a highly percussive, hypnotic, and LOUD outro which evoked in '96 the same feelings which the band has developed with the last two albums. Anyone who had the priveledge of seeing the band off OK Computer / Airbag will notice a dramatic change in mood, with Thom actually bantering with the crowd and laughing at himself during You and Whose Army. I can now see the wisdom in Thom's decision to explore a new approach to music-making with the last two albums: it truly has saved the band's sanity. The band showed a firm commitment to meeting the challenge of rendering live the intricate craftsmanship of this new sound, while thier mastery of conventional composition and thier pride in thier previous work hadn't faltered a bit. In fact, at several points the band seemed to be letting out thier frustrations with all the new gizmos on thier guitars. A careful examination of the playlist ith show a pattern of following up pairs of the more challenging, synthetic songs with the old guitar anthems. The expanding breadth of thier work and the fact that they were actually supporting twins this time allowed for a much longer set, with the main emphasis seeming to be on Kid A rather than Amnesiac. Despite the fact that this was obviously a better show, I couldn't help but wish to be seeing it back at the more somber and immediate confines of Aerial surrounded by true fans (that show sold out in 4 minutes!). The only note of dissapointment was that the band didn't choose to debut any new or unreleased material, nor did any of the b-sides off Amnesiac make the cut. I remember vividly hearing Palo Alto for the first time live, thinking to myself what a great song it was then discovering it on the EP a month later. The only other suprise was that Thom wasn't playing on his old Alvarez, he had some new live acoustic (yes this one had a sound hole, he even sang into it during Climbing up the Walls, I believe). If anyone knows why he chose to ditch that guitar, please respond on this thread.

-Shaun Nelson