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 Jonathan Jindra
by Ryan Harrison
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
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 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.
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.
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