(aka Feeling Pulled Apart By Horse) debuted. it's very likely Radiohead
soundchecked this song earlier. other songs soundchecked: knives out,
the thief, in limbo, optimistic, like spinning plates and an awesome
version of the tourist. [thanks shereef, michael & mike]
by Brock Stotsenberg
by Rusty Willoughby
by Jake Wynne
by Joseph Barringer
Just got back from the show, had to drive seven hours from the venue and started this morning, after having camped for two nights. A truly amazing show. One of the most high energy performances that I have ever seen, which suprised me. I was expecting a rather laid back concert, the precedent being set by their show at the Salem Armory a couple years back (complete with signs reading "radiohead kindly requests no moshing or crowd surfing"). We had camped out the friday before the concert, getting there just as they opened to get a good spot. The camping was great, spending two days with several thousand radiohead fans (plus some that showed up early for Ozzfest) was as fun as I imagined it would be. We got in line early in the morning Saturday, and dealt with all the attending grief ("are those people driving up going to start a new line?" "will they get in first?" "they don't look like they run very fast, I think we're safe." etc. etc.) They opened the gates at four thirty, and in the mad confusing dash, after being re-routed several times and being yelled at to slow down many more, we made it to our seats, center, one row back. The Beta Band was great, didn't seem to be completely into it, maybe. Or maybe just not giving their all for an audience that for the most part wasn't very into them. The new songs were great, very promising, and their old songs were good to hear. I really hope they make it back over soon for a full set. And so after a half an hour break, Radiohead came on. Thom was all smiles, as were the rest of the band. Looking quite happy to be there and into the huge audience (20,000 tickets were sold!). They started National Anthem, and the crowd surfing started immediately. Everybody on the floor was trying to fit into the two feet closest to the stage. The next four songs were all accompanied by a frenzy on the other side of the barricade, and you had to pay more attention to staying upright and not getting kicked in the head than you could to the band. Also, what with everyone singing along it was rather hard to hear Thom or much of the instrumentation. With Exit Music there was a slight reprieve, but that faded as the end of the song started rocking and Packt Like Sardines started in. Needless to say I found my way out of what at that point was a pit and found a more suitable place to enjoy the show. It was a very intense show, and once I could direct my attention to what was going on onstage it got incredible. It blew my mind to think that five people with a handful of equipment could make that music. Words can't really describe how awe inspiringly beatiful this bands music is. Seeing the band up there, putting their all into it. Thom especially, looking like he feels the lyrics as he's singing them, encouraging the audience and being encouraged by them in turn. Jonny was thrashing around as well, and they were all doing their best impression of the rock stars they are. It made me realize that this is the greatest band that I've had the opportunity to enjoy. Before the show I heard someone say that this was going to be a life changing experience, that we wouldn't walk away the same people. Even if it didn't live up to that, which for some it might have, it was definetely the best show I've ever seen. And to see a better one is more than I can reasonably wish for.
by Airbag 2089
by L. Beckner
the show last night
was perfect. the beta band was tight and flawless, and very fun to watch
as well. radiohead started about half an hour after the beta band left.
thom looked confused during the national anthem and was obviously having
some problems with his ear monitor. the national anthem still kicked
ass, though. next up was morning bell. i was very close to the front
and was somewhat annoyed by the couple of people that decided morning
bell was a good song to crowd surf to. thom sat at the keyborad before
the song mumbling something about no sound, then quickly said 'oh. heh.
i know.' and reached in his shirt to (what looked like) turn his ear
monitor on. morning bell went off flawlessly. then ed did the famous
pick scraping that began lucky. great song live.. wonderul lights..
thom came in late so he kind of walked back twords the drums for a few
bars with a pissed off look on his face and came back to start the song
again. at this point i was kind of worried that thom would be in a bad
mood because of sound problems and such.. but it seemed this song fixed
any problems they were having with the sound on stage. for karma police
i made the *long* hike up to the top of the hill, to see the show from
up there for a few. i stayed up there for exit music, packt and airbag.
it was really great, because the columbia gorge is the most beautiful
place you will ever see a concert. not to mention the best sound you'll
ever hear. thom stopped exit music during the "breathe keep breathing
part." and walked back to talk to phil. the lights went down, and
abruptly he came back to the mic and resumed the song. enough of the
hill! on my way back down the hill i ran into the keyboardist and drummer
for the beta band and talked to them for a few minutes. very cool guys.
very english. reckoner had everyone looking around funny, because it
was a really good song that no one had heard before. glad we were the
first. if anyone saw me, i was the big tall guy with the blue 'security'
shirt on. none of the gorge security were wearing a shirt that looked
like mine, but people were still coming up to me and asking me where
things were and such. no surprises was next. this one was a crowd favorite.
i was really getting into the gigantic LCD screens on the side of the
stage during this song. they had a camera on each side of the stage,
phil's kit, and on each keyboard and piano that johnny and thom played.
dollars and cents was definatly one of my favorites, especially with
the extended outro. the song ended with thom chantin "seattle...
seattle... G8. G8. G8." I might be wrong was also wonderful. At
this point the sound started getting even better. I was really amazed
at the clairty of radiohead's equipment live. there are a lot of things
going on in these songs, but each insturment is heard perfectly and
at a reasonable level. Pyramid song was a nice break, as well. Thom's
piano sounded really good. Thom dedicated pyramid song to "the
people on the hill". he also did the little joke with ed where
they both puff into their mics and then giggle and say 'smokin' weed.'
idioteque and everthing in it's right place were next, and probably
the best sounding songs of the evening. once again i must say that i
have never heard that sound quality come out of any insturment. thom
really went crazy during the break down in the middle of the song. everything
in it's right place sounded perfect, as well. if anyone has mp3s of
the show, email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
by David O'Donnell
Last night turned out to be a very interesting night for me. It was my first time seeing my favorite band in the world, and the show was absolutely amazing!! The band started off with an explosive National Anthem and really got the crowd going. Then, the stage hands pulled Thom's rhoads organ/piano out and Thom procceded to shake back and forth with a big smile on his face. Then he sat down and announced that it was "Morning Bell" It was absolutely breathtaking. The lights at this show were simply incredible, and always added a lot artistically to the music. Next was lucky, which they screwed up in the beginning. Thom I guess wasn't paying enough attention to how man measures phil had played on the intro, and he started the first chord off, so he just let phil keep going, and finally joined in. The final result was absolutely amazing!! Great version of the song. After Karma Police and My Iron Lung, Thom started exit music, and right after the first "breath, keep breathing" Thom just stopped playing, giving a cold stare to the front of the auidence where some morons were crowd surfing. That had to be the one part about the show that pissed me off. All the retards who think it's cool to crowd surf to Radiohead. Especially "Exit Music." Thom finally turns around, takes a swig of water, and then turns back around to the mic and starts back where he left off. It was amazing though. Pakt like sardines was full of beautiful fuzz and was awesome live. Then after that, Thom simply said, "Airbag" and after fiddling with some things for a moment, they started into Airbag, which I was very very excited to hear. It was an absolutely great performance. Now the next song, that threw me like nothing else!! I knew it wasn't a cover, but man, it sure didn't sound like Radiohead's most recent material. I downloaded the mp3, which sounds terrible compared to how it sounded live. It sounded amazing live. Very funky. Nice funky bass line. They were really getting into it too. Thom didn't even say a word about the new song, they just moved right along to the next one. Some other highlights of the night were.........Well crap, everything was amazing. The show just seemed to pick up, and gain momentum. Thom was in a good mood, and during "You and Whose Army" smiled a lot and was making the audience cheer real loud, then suddenly stop, with the swooping of his arm. He started laughing after doing that a few times. He, as well as the rest of the bad, were really enjoying themselves. Thom even said at the end of the first encore that "we love you all, indeed." You could see that they were honestly appreciative of their fans, - the morons who were crowd surfing!! The bends totally rocked. Climbing up the Walls was astoundingly beautiful. As an avid Radiohead bootleg collector, let me tell you, there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING like being there in the flesh to enjoy such an amazing event. The only thing that spoiled the evening was the camping afterwards. It was completely anarchy!! A bunch of stupid drunk frat boys screaming at each other and lighting off fireworks. The majority of them weren't even there to see Radiohead, they were just there to get wasted. It was sad, and I am just trying to block it from my memory so as not to ruin the best concert I have ever witnessed in my life. Radiohead is truly a band that has more integrity as a band then I have really ever seen. They are truly one of the most underrated and misunderstood bands around. If you have a chance to see Radiohead live, no matter how far you have to drive, and no matter how many drunken frat boys there are, do it anyway, because those 2 hours of absolute beautiful, honest music, are worth any sort of circumstance. David O'Donnell
by Amethyst Biggs
I had to experience my first Radiohead concert from the balcony of Seattle's Paramount Theatre on their 1998 tour. And though it was awesome, it wasn't quite what I wanted it to be. My redemption came at The Gorge, as I was only about 5 or 6 rows back from the stage. I tried to fight my way to the front, but there was so much pushing and shoving that I seriously feared being trampled or squished to death, so I headed back to my original spot, nearly getting my glasses knocked off my face by a wayward crowd surfer in the process. Anyway, it was a beautiful concert, and my only regret is that it seemed to go by so fast that I can't really remember it all. It was like a dream. Opening bands are usually torturous, like an hour-long barrier keeping you from the band you're actually there to see, but the Beta Band were really quite good, and I didn't mind postponing my Radiohead experience for them. Radiohead came on pretty quickly afterwards, and as soon as the bass line to 'National Anthem' started, the crowd was pretty crazy. It's such the perfect song to start a concert with. After the song Thom was shaking his fist in the air and saying 'Rock!'in this mock macho voice. 'Lucky' was certainly a highlight, and everyone was singing along. In fact, the crowd sang along to pretty much the whole show. After the first verse of 'Exit Music', Thom stopped singing and just sort of looked at us. We started to sing the 'breathe' part, but then got quiet after we noticed Thom wasn't following suit. Everyone was kind of confused, then Thom walked over towards Phil, came back to the mike and smiled then continued the song. I guess he was just fucking with us. I was hoping they'd play 'Airbag' and I suppose the rest of the crowd was too. They went nuts for that song. Thom was doing his head-bobbing thing which I love, and his voice was really strong. The new song was totally rocking, very guitar heavy and energetic. It sounded kinda Led Zeppelin-esque to me, and the band seemed to have a lot of fun playing it. I hope they do more songs like that on future albums. Thom dedicated 'Paranoid Android' to the people sitting on the lawn, and the crowd toally exploded during that song. Johnny's guitar solo for that song is one of the coolest solos on the planet, and it sounds even better live. And the lighting was awesome too. A couple of comedians in the crowd emptied their water bottles on us during the 'rain down' part, which actually felt quite nice since it was so damn hot. 'Idioteque' was one of my favorites. Gotta love that drumb beat. Thom did his little crazy, flailing around dance at the end. He really seemed to have a good time that night, playing with the crowd and smiling a lot and making jokes. The first encore was the best, in my opinion, with 'Talkshow Host' and 'Climbing up the Walls.' I could actually feel the bass vibrating through my body. 'How to Disappear' was simply gorgeous. I almost cried. Ditto for 'Street Spirit' during the second encore. After that I figured it was over, since they usually only do two encores, but then Thom ran back out with Colin and Johnny and said 'Ok, we'll play one more' and did a lovely 'Motion Picture Soundtrack.' Finally they waved goodbye, Thom thanked us for coming, told us to enjoy the rest of our evening (as if any part of our evening could be better,) bowed and departed. I thought the '98 tour was awesome, but this one proved Radiohead only get better and better. They were definitely worth the acheing back, sore feet and 50 bucks (not including gas for my 3-hour drive home) it cost me.
by Matt Summers
by Scott Canty
They took the stage just as the sun was setting over the Columbia River Gorge, and proceeded to paint a musical masterpiece over that beautiful backdrop. The songs from Kid A and Amnesiac take on an entirely different tone when played live, it really brings it all home. Surreal and magnificent. The thing that surprised me the most was how well the songs blended together. Radiohead have evolved greatly from album to album, but hearing the songs performed live, and in random order (as evidenced by the changing playlists from show to show) you really get a feel that despite how different the albums may sound, they really are evolutionary, not revolutionary. The band was crisp and tight, and the sound quality was incredible. Must be the natural acoustics. The visuals added so much to the music, from the lighting to the large screens on either side of the stage. None of the imagery from the album artwork mind you, primarily black and white video from multiple mini-cam's placed about the stage. In my opinion, the spirit award goes to Phil, who was utterly unflappable and solid, laying down the drum tracks with an unassuming ease. He makes it look so effortless, which is a compliment to his absolute talent. I was concerned early on because Thom's equipment difficulties were quite evident, but far from becoming agitated, he became more animated and jovial, even downright playful. Stopping mid verse in 'Exit Music (for a film)' made me nervous, but then all he did was walk back to the drum kit to get a sip of water. Other fun moments: Controlling the applause in his best David Letterman style during 'You and Whose Army?' and yelling out "ROCK!" before the first heavy guitar licks of 'The Bends.' What else can I say? They look like they really are enjoying themselves, and having fun with it now, far from the gloominess documented in "Meeting People Is Easy." I can only hope that they are happy doing what they are doing, and that there is more to come.