- National Anthem
- Morning Bell
- In Limbo
- Packt Like Sardines
In A Crushd Tin Box
- Exit Music (For
- You And Whose
- No Surprises
- Dollars And Cents
- Knives Out
- Permanent Daylight
(although they played one or two notes of something else before thom
announced they had "changed songs")
- Pyramid Song
- Paranoid Android
- Everything In
Its Right Place
- I Might Be Wrong
- Street Spirit
- Climbling Up The
- How To Disappear
- Talk Show Host
- Karma Police
[thanks to Liz, Mark and Mike for the setlist]
by Mark Crozer
I've seen Radiohead many, many times over the last decade. The first
time was just after they had changed their name to Radiohead from On
A Friday at the Jericho tavern in Oxford. They were opening up for an
Irish band called A-House. There must have been... ooh, 25 people in
the audience so it was very surreal to see the same band 9 years later
playing to a packed stadium in Western Canada. All I can say about their
performance tonight (the first I've seen since 'The Bends' Tour) is
that it was phenomenal and gives further proof (if it was needed) that
Radiohead are, without a doubt, the greatest band of our time. I must
admit to being a little cool on Kid A when it first hit the streets
(but I love it now) and Amnesiac is still a challenge, but the songs
from those 2 albums really came across very well live. I think that
the highlights of the show for me (although it was all excellent) were
Everything in Its Right Place, Paranoid Android and a couple of new
songs that I don't the names of... (sorry!) The only thing that marred
the night was the LAME audience. People were sitting around talking
throughout the show! I really couldn't believe it. Well, yes I can because
I'm a struggling musician in this town myself and have had to put up
with the same thing for the past couple of years... but I mean, at a
Radiohead show for God's sake!! People, please! They were yacking like
they were at a church picnic or something!! It was very distracting.
And weird too.
We went from Edmonton...man..what a trip..anyway..i just want to talk
about the music...particularly Packt Like.....i think it's amazing how
they do it live..sorta screechy guitar stabs..so much stuff is feedback
reverb and volume, but they play it so cleanly..I don't think anyone
could play guitar like jonny..manic..but a complete artist...i'm kinda
stunned by the whole performance..they're just incredible...somehow
i think the time off touring between ok computer and now was spent transforming
the newer electronic studio material into something they could really
show as rock music when playing live...just to sort of show us all how
it's done...just brilliant..seeing songs like Lucky and Dollars and
Cents live..Climbing up the walls...street spirit..some brilliant stuff..i
was secretly wishing for Inside My Head..but you know it wouldn't happen..but
Airbag, and Big Ideas, especially we're a treat..some technical problems
for Ed, i thought, during that song and Thom ended it.."that ends it"
i think he said...during the 3rd chorus...or second..anyway, too bad,
but good while it lasted....they were great..i wonder wha the impact
of this event will be on my life....Anyway the Dj played some good stuff..some
DJ shadow material i heard...the numbers song..good..the Beta Band too..Dry
the rain is a good tune..they're pretty groovy stuff. My girlfriend
was happy coz she yelled out ofor it and they played it..I thought it
was cool, anyway..just got home..tired...going to bed..thanks.
by Dave Ward
24 June 2001
Thunderbird Stadium, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver with 24 fantastic live songs tonight.
I'll tell you all about it.
Let me preface this
review. Do you all remember the scenes in
"Meeting People Is Easy" which show a series of shots taken
front of the stage in Japan, showing the front rows of the audience,
where all these cute Japanese girls are clinging to the front guard
rail with looks of utter joy and excitement? It was kind of my dream
to be in that place. It always looked to me like those girls are
having an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime exerience right there at
the foot of the stage.
My wife ordered tickets
from W.A.S.T.E. as soon as they went on sale
there. When the tickets arrived, they were maked with the magic
words "HEAD ZONE." We heard the reports that the "head
zone" was a
special section at the front of the stage, but I just couldn't
believe it entirely. I wouldn't believe it until I was there.
at about 1:30 my wife and I picked up our friend
Rick who was going with us, and we headed north on I-5. We're from
Bellingham, Washington, so we took I-5 through the Blaine "Peace
Arch" border crossing, and went on to Thunderbird Stadium: all
all, it was probably about 60-90 minutes' drive.
We arrived sometime
just after 3 p.m. I took my digital camera,
thinking of *maybe* trying to get it through security. (I managed to
get some pretty decent shots at Roger Waters' show at The Gorge
almost exactly a year ago by sneaking a Minolta SR101 in.) When we
arrived, the crowds were pretty sparse--not even so much a crowd. It
must surely be busier any day of the week when classes are in
We passed a few scalpers,
at least one claiming to be selling head
zone tickets. A couple blocks away, somebody was practically begging
for somebody to sell him a ticket. It must be some kind of universal
law that there is always somebody scalping and somebody desperately
trying to buy and that these people never find each other. Heh!
Just outside the stadium,
there was a roadway crossing the path, and
grass on the opposite side. The truck for CFOX 99.3 FM was parked on
the left--it arrived at exactly the same time we did. And as we
approached this little crossroad, a big dark green bus with only a
few darkened windows rolled in and stopped. To the right, the
crossroad led through a gate which was closed and blocked off by
plastic. Quite a few security people in blue shirts stood around
near the gate--probably 6-8 in all.
My wife, Rick and
I all stood on the grass and talked a bit. Quite a
few people were already there. There were lots of punky alternative
types, quite a few with colors in their hair. One girl wore a white
shirt and--very obviously--no bra. And there was just about every
type of guy as well--hippie types with matted hair, beards, etc;
'joe normal' types, some of thenm shirtless, others wearing
nondescript tee shirts; I even spotted a few Pink Floyd tee shirts.
(Never saw a "Relics" shirt before today. Heh.)
After we'd stood around
for a few minutes, some of the badged
official-type people signalled to the green bus, which then rolled
up to the gate and stopped immediately beside us. It only stopped
for 10-15 seconds. In that time, I said to my wife, "Hey, that
be them. Who knows?" Then I turned back and looked at the shaded
window at the back... and a CLEARLY saw Johnny sitting on the other
side. Cool! As soon as it dawned on me who it was, the gates swung
open briefly and the bus rolled in, the security staff immediately
closing the gate behind. "That was Johnny!" I said. My wife
For a few seconds
we all just kinda grinned, and went back into
"waiting mode." I looked over the somewhat sparse crowd of
casually sprawling on the grass. Another guy drove up in some kind
of official tractor-like vehicle, spoke briefly to a couple security
guys, then left.
About this time, the
word must have been getting around, because
even though the bus had pulled through 30-60 seconds ago and was
parked behind the plastic-obscured gate, people began jumping up
from their spots on the lawn, running to the gate, and trying to see
to the other side. A bunch of people kneeled down, peering under the
plastic. Others peeked through the holes in the plastic. My wife and
I quickly jumped on two chairs security guys had been sitting in
earlier and peeked over. There was really nothing to see--just the
dark green van parked on the other side. We couldn't see anything of
the band, so we got down off the chairs, not wanting to be chewed
out. We took another quick look from the other side--I grabbed the
chain link fence and quickly jumped up to peek over, but there was
again nothing to see; just the van.
Even as we stepped
back again, others ran toward the fence, peering
under the plastic, climbing to the top to peek over, stepping up on
the chairs we'd already tried... Several people yelled, "THOM!"
"ED!" There was a lot of excited chatter, but it's not clear
anybody actually saw the bad, except when we got a good look through
the window before it rolled through. Finally a couple security guys
came back and chased everybody away from the fence.
We parked ourselves
on the lawn, and ultimately spent a couple hours
there, varying between standing and sitting as the crowd couldn't
seem to decide which it wanted to do. The crowd gradually and
steadily grew. Eventually, a security guy yelled, "If you have
general admission tickets, you need to get your butt over to that
side as far as you can go!" and he pointed to the left. "If
head zone tickets you need to get against the other wall, and if
you're waiting to pick up your tickets, line up in the middle!"
That was the first
real confirmation (to me) that our 'head zone'
tickets really WERE going to put us in a special area! Elisa, Rick
and I moved to the right with our head zone tickets. As people
seperated into lines, it looked like only 1/5 of the people
there--or less--had head zone tickets! I joked, "Wouldn't it be
funny if the only difference was that head zone people are not
entitled to use the restroom facilities?"
I decided that I didn't
want to risk my $400 US digital camera, so I
took it back to the car. I would later regret this terribly. :-(
My wife, who used
the name "My Iron Love" on the message board,
wound up talking with another girl who also was on the message
board. She'd come all the way from Manhattan to see them here. Quite
a trip! She said that she really hoped they'd play "Big Ideas (Don't
Get Any)." A long shot, of course. A *very* long shot! How often
have they played THAT one?
Then, and the still-small
crowd waited out on the grass, our first
aural treat started. A ways awway, on the other side of the fence on
the right--the fence where we head zone tickets people were lined
up--we started hearing the tapping sounds of amplified snare drum
being sound tested, occasional guitar strums, and a few thunderous
bass drum tests. Then there was a voice, singing just a few lines.
It was clearly Thom Yorke. I tapped my wife on the shoulder and
asked if she heard, but she wasn't really listening. Bah!
A minute later, somewhat
muffled by distance and by the stage facing
away from us, the band launched into "Climbing Up the Walls."
the first of about a half-dozen songs they played in part or in
whole while we all waited out of sight on the upper lawns. I'm
afraid I don't remember all the songs that were played in the sound
check/rehearsal. They played a chunk of "I Might Be Wrong."
remember that they played a song I didn't recognize, but the girl my
wife was talking to confirmed it was their cover of "Thief"
I remember they played a bit of Pyramid Song, but didn't complete
the song. A portion of Idioteque was performed, and I think they did
a "Everything In Its Right Place." If somebody can tell me
what was played in the warm-up, please drop me a line at
firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct complete list.
The crowds grew, and
after maybe 30 minutes the sound check ended.
Over the full two-hour wait on the grass, security had to remind
people--and inform the newcomers--to seperate into three lines.
Finally everybody stood and moved forward as event staff signaled
they were going to take tickets. As we moved forward, I was able to
peek through a gap in the fence and get my first look at Thunderbird
Stadium. The stadium itself was down below us. On the other side of
the fence, a lawn sloped down. There was an area of bleachers to one
side, but otherwise it was all flat area in front of the stage
(which appeared to face left as I looked through the fence), and
surrounding lawns. A surprisingly large selection of concession
stands formed a semi-circle at the back. Best of all, when I looked
at the floor areas, there was a *clearly* sectioned-off area--the
head zone. It formed a triangle between the mixing desks (at the
center of the floor) and the two far corners of the stage itself.
Somebody noted the
signs which said what is forbidden in the stadium
and joked, "No knives are allowed? What are we supposed to use
There were a couple
checkpoints for us 'head zone' ticketholders as
we entered. First, an event staff person looked at our ticket and
then, without touching the ticket in any way, put a blue band on our
right wrist. The band, made of a special fiber paper that's very
hard to tear, says "Radiohead Inner Barrier Pass." Each also
number; mine was 1161648.
After getting an Inner
Barrier Pass wristband, the head zone people
moved up, took a left turn and were merged again with the GA
(general admission) crowd. Everybody had their tickets torn, and
proceeded into the arena. We passed the first entrance and went to
the next one, the entrance closer to the back. A quite long set of
somewhat steep stairs took us all carefully down until we were at
the back of the floor, by the semi-circle of concessions. Rick and
I each got a hot dog (I give Thunderbird smokies a thumbs up) and my
wife bought a bottle water. Then we went on to the gate leading into
the headzone. We showed our wristbands, and a moment later I was
standing right at the front, clutching the rail just like those
lovely, ecstatic Japanese girls in the MPiE video!
The deejay came onstage
at about 6:00. At first, to be honest, I
didn't realize it was being deejayed. I'd read about the deejaying,
but had forgotten about it today, and assumed she was fine-tuning
the sound system through her headphones. It was only when I saw her
lift a bright yellow record up and put a different one down and then
start moving it with her finger that I remembered the deejay stuff.
I don't think the
deejay--a blonde woman who looked very
un-deejay-like in a muted green blouse and almost businesslike black
knee-length skirt--was bad at all. There was one track with way too
much scratching for my taste, but the rest of it was pretty good
rhythmic atmosphere and helped pass the time while we waited. There
were only about 100 people in the head zone, and it was rather
strange to look back and see the GA people standing *so* far behind
us on the other side of the fence. I commented to Rick that if I was
in GA and the head zone didn't fill up, I'd be really pissed to have
to stand that far away. Having been in nosebleed sections a number
of times, I could more than sympathize. When she finished and left,
the deejay got appreciative applause from the small-but-growing
crowd. The grinned to us and waved from the back of the stage as she
left and roadies moved her deejay desk/scratch board to make room
for the Beta Band.
The Beta Band. I won't
say too much, but I don't see why other
people have slagged them so much. They weren't the best thing in the
world, but they were quite good, and even through I'd never heard
anything from them before whatsoever, some of their songs were quite
good and involving. The lead singer/guitarist wore a red kimono with
gold dragons all over it for much of the show. The bass player wore
a blue-gray outfit that looked almost like an auto mechanic, but
with strange aviator-like goggles. The keyboard/samples guy wore a
white jumpsuit covered with all sorts of patches--I recognized an
old NASA space shuttle mission patch among them. I couldn't see the
drummer that well. Between songs, the singer asked how we're doing
and the usual crowd banter. A couple songs later, he addressed the
general admission crowd, "You guys out beyond the barrier, how
YOU doing?" (At this point, the head zone was still only 1/3 or
full, so the division was terribly obvious still.) A song or two
later, the singer asked (with a kind of charming insecurity), "Are
we still doing okay?" and he smiled uncertainly.
About 2/3 through
their set, the singer/guitarist shed the kimono,
showing off the brilliant white jumpsuit underneath. Very strange
dressers these guys. I'm sorry to comment more on their dress than
their music, but I think their music was actually quite good, but
their quirky and somehow very cool stage dress was more memorable
than the music itself. In a way, I suppose that's too bad. But they
*are* quite good. Believe me, I've had to sit through a couple of
crap opening bands--worst of all, Mr Big. Ugh. Spare me that crap.
The Beta Band were quite good! I think by the end of the set, they'd
won over quite a lot of the audience. And by the time they were
done, the arena was well on its way to being full.
As the Beta Band left,
roadies again hit the stage, removing the
opening act's extra drum kit, their guitars and crates, and setting
up the remainder of Radiohead's own gear. Soon, lighting guys
started climbing up the little ladders dangling from either end of
the lighting far overhead at the front of the stage. The one on the
right had trouble bringing the ladder up after he ascended. A roadie
below gestured, trying to be helpful, but it still took a while to
get the ladder pulled up. By now the arena was finally about full as
essentially everybody was in now. The head zone appeared to be full,
though naturally there was nobody at the extreme sides of the stage
since there's no view at all there due to the enormous speakers.
It was still full
daylight as 8:00 came and radiohead took the stage
to a swelling crescendo of cheers. They waved to the crowd as they
came onstage, Phil planting himself behind his kit, Johnny, Ed and
Thom strapping on their guitars, Colin picking up his bass... And
without any ado, Johnny started up a swirl of radio static, and
Colin launched into the distorted thunderous chromatic bass line of:
National Anthem --
Finely done, of course, as always. I really think
it's a good show opener. Thom did a bit of his trademark
shuddery dancing. A great, solid start to the show.
Morning Bell -- I
guess they've established fairly well what the
first several songs are going to be during this tour, so we knew
this was coming. The song took a while to really grow on me, but
it's one of the standouts of Kid A, and I was really thrilled to
hear Phil ta out the opening 10/8 rhythm and know what we were
about to be treated to.
Lucky -- Damn, I love
Lucky. It was fun to see both Ed and Johnny
scratching the guitar strings at the tuning pegs to get that
distinctive discordant chiming rhythm. I have a distinctly clear
memory of Johnny, in blue button-fly Levi's and a white white
shirt with Honda logos on the front and arms, playing that great
guitar melody which fills in between vocals lines of the chorus.
And for the first time, some of the crowd could be heard singing
along, though unotrusively.
Airbag -- Airbag has
always been my gavorite OKC track, and possibly
my favorite Radiohead song of all. I mean, I've named the
Radiohead mailing discussion list after it even.
(http://airbaglist.cjb.net) But somehow I was so awed to hear it
that I almost completely spaced out! I remember bits of it, but
not well. I remember watching Johnny play the opening guitar
lines--exactly as I play them, I was glad to note! I remember
noticing that Thom was strumming the open-voiced chords during
the verses. And Johnny's keyboard contributions to the song
sounded mixed louder than usual--though this could well be
because I was at his side of the stage and just in front of the
speakers closest to him. If it's mixed stereo, Johnny might have
been mixed louder to that side. I wish I hadn't spaced out a
bit. It was a great, great treat to hear Airbag live. Ah...
In Limbo--This is
one of the Kid A tracks that kind of floats right
by me, and it did in concert as well. Funny because I love how
the tempo of the guitar triplets is so mismatched to the drum
rhythm. Nice falsetto vocals, too. But somehow it just floated
Packt Like Sardines--Damn,
the bass notes really thundered. This
song moved more air than probably any other just because of
those bass notes. Other than the powerful bass, I had to say
this one floats by much like In Limbo.
Exit Music--Thom straps
on his acoustic. Johnny's mellotron voices
are very prominent. Of course he's not using an actual
Mellotron, but it actually triggering samples from a silver
keyboard of unknown make. (Sorry, I didn't pay attention to or
really look for the names on equipment, though now I wish I had
You And Whose Army--Now
this is a song that REALLY comes to life in
performance. It's good on the album, and it was even better on
the Canal+ show. But they *really* pumped live into the song in
Vancouver. The opening was lovely and forlorn, even more than
the original Amnesiac version, and they *really* crammed the
whole ending full of grand power. Absolutely SPINE-TINGLING!
It'll be interesting, if and when a recording of Vancouver
surfaces, to see if that power comes across in the recording, or
if you really 'had to be there' to see what was so special. (And
if anybody reading this recorded the Vancouver show and might
share it, please please please email me privately,
email@example.com!) Y&WA must have been the memorable song of
the show, because it has been stuck in my head all night. The
song had never really moved me all that much before, but now
it's just jammed in my skull, swimming around over and over.
No Surprises--as soon
as Y&WA ended, Johnnie's roader--a somehwhat
older guy with a long ponytail--wheeled out a xylophone for
Johnny, and I knew well before most people what song was next.
Cool! I reacted when I saw the xylophone being pushed, but most
people didn't cheer for it until the first bar or two was
played, when a big roar swelled through the crowd. I didn't
realize the song was so widely loved, but the crowd was really
ecstatic to hear it.
I should mention that
Thom had some good quips between songs, though
I'm not sure exactly when they happened. He introduced not one but
TWO songs with the quite funny, "This next song goes like this."
Also, immediately to my left at the guard rail was a young East
Asian couple. The girl had a banner, but kept it rolled up until
near the end of the show. I never saw what it said. The guy,
however, had a small camera. And here's the coolest part. When the
guy pointed the camera up on stage... Well, first of all, security
didn't even flinch. There was no effort at all to stop him. Very
nice. But the REALLY cool thing is, as he held up the camera to take
a picture, Thom was bouncing around stage. Thom suddenly saw the
camera and stopped, and assumed a pose. He waited there in pose,
looking DIRECTLY at the photographer right next to me (for just one
second I thought he was looking at me for some reasong, but no).
Thom waited a second while the guy next to me took the picture.
Several songs later, the guy held up a camera, and *AGAIN* Thom saw
it, posed and waited until the picture was taken, then went on. In
my book, that makes Thom the FUCKIN' COOLEST GUY ON EARTH!! :-) And
damn, I *really* hope that photographer puts his photos online for
Dollars and Cents--I
have to say, this goes in with "In Limbo" and
"Packt" as one that tends to float past me. As I've written
my review of Amnesiac (posted only to Airbag,
http://airbaglist.cjb.net, sorry) I feel like I'll really
appreciate the track better after it's had a year to sink in.
Kid A was hard to digest, but I don't like immediately
accessible music. Accessible equals superficial, which equals
short shelf life for evolved humans. I like the stuff that take
a long time to fully understand, because of the depth, the
lasting power, and the musical growth. So unfortunately, I
didn't fully appreciate the performance. I *liked* it, but it
really just floated by without leaving a mark. Maybe if I get to
hear it live again in a year or two, it will be different.
Knives Out--Ah, one
of the pinnacle songs of Amnesiac for me. I was
pleasantly surprised to see Thom strumming the basic chord
shapes on an acoustic, and hear that acoustic quite prominent in
the mix. It was, I think, just a notch higher in the mix than on
the album from the start, and that added a little extra
something. Sure, it enters the song later in the album, but here
it was up-front from the start, and it helps. A great song is
made even better. Fine, fine performance!
Out", Thom said something to a roadie like, "No, we're
not gonna do that one" and waved away an instrument that was
being brought to him. Then he said to the crowd, "We're going to
make a sudden setlist change." COOL! Something a little special
and unplanned! Have they been making sudden changes in the tour
before tonight? So the roadies quickly took back what they'd
started to bring out--I never did find out or guess what song
was SUPPOSED to be next--and instead the band launched into...
now embarassed and amazed that I didn't
recognize this song. Jeez, I've only included it on the playlist
on my internet radio station! I really should have recognized it
and appreciated it more, but for some reason it went by
unrecognized until I got home and read the set list Injektilo
(David) posted. Duh. (And thanks David.) The performance was
great, however. I just feel stupid for not realizing what it
After the song, Johnny
started to switch to keyboards, but Thom said
to him, "No, you're not gonna need that." He made some kind
gesture, and then asked, "Can you play this one?" Johnny nodded.
with scratchy-rattley Nirvana-esque opening chords, they jumped
Just--The second of
our two (or rather FIRST two) spontaneously
performed songs. I'm used to seeing "dinosaur" bands who are
often, unfortunately, tied to static set lists. It was really a
thrill to see Radiohead rewrite their setlist and just play what
they felt like despite what was scheduled. Inspiring and
refreshing, and it made the night extra-special for us! And of
course, Just rocked! The only thing I missed was Thom's old
introduction for the song; he didn't yell "ROCK!" before it.
At one point, when
Thom was sitting at the piano (I think just
before Pyramid Song) he looked over his shoulder at the crowd and
said, very dryly:
mmmuh generic crowd banter rrrruh rrruh muhhh."
was out of tune in Pyramid Song, and I
couldn't figure out what. It sounded like one or two keys on the
piano had drifted out of pitch. (Maybe it got jolted in transit
and the detuned key wasn't noticed?) In any case, Thom didn't
stop, but performed the song despite the one clunker note, and
managed to keep it voice beautifully in tune anyway. It all made
me wonder whether I was hearing things. Maybe the piano wasn't
really out of tune, but something sounded wrong, I'm just not
sure what it was. Maybe a recording of the show will reveal
more. (Again, if you recorded it and are a good-hearted sharing
type, *PLEASE* let me know! ;-)
one of the pinnacles of the show for me. The
song went by too fast for me. Oh, man, I'd like to just travel
back in time to earlier tonight and watch this song two or three
more times. (And maybe catch Airbag again since too.) It's
impressive how smoothly they handle the dramatic changes in the
song. It was always done well, but now it feels so comfortable
and relaxed, they've really mastered every aspect of the tune.
Definitely an epiphany. Beautiful performance. And it was nice
to hear those Mellotron samples again--but I'm a sucker for
tasteful Mellotron use.
get this straight. I've never thought
Idioteque was a REALLY great song. I've always thought it was
good, but never GREAT. Tonight changed that. Radiohead
transformed it into a truly great song tonight, especially
during the ending sections which became a pure masterpiece.
Their performances of Idioteque and You And Whose Army together
have really sold me on post-OK Computer Radiohead. I've enjoyed
Kid A and Amnesiac, but these performances infused the material
with a certain extra edge and extra life that is missing on the
album versions. I would very much like to see Radiohead release
an official live album from this tour, though I wonder if they
might consider that "too dinosaur" for them. Too bad.
Thom played a couple
bars of a Manic Street Preachers song as a
teaser, grinned like a little troublemaking imp, then began...
Everything in its
Right Place--Okay, add this to the growing list of
songs that were good on the album but became stellar in
performance. I've always loved this one, but like so many
others, it gained a whole new life in Vancouver. Most amazing
was the ending, when Thom left the stage leaving Colin, Johnny,
Ed and Phil playing an extended outro to the song. Phil ended
his drum part, stood and waved to the crowd, an exited stage
right while Colin, Johnny and Ed played on. Colin finished,
waved to applause, and left. Ed and Johnny played on, until
Johnny stopped and looked at the crowd. (Amazingly, this moment
was the FIRST TIME Johnny acknowledged the crowd during the show
since when he waved to everybody when he first took the stage.)
Johnny left, and Ed remained behind, kneeling at stage left, his
guitar in a squelching loop of noise. Ed stood, leaving the loop
playing infinitely, and left the stage with a wave to the crowd.
The empty stage remained, lights still flashing, guitar feedback
They only stayed offstage
for a couple minutes before returning--not
a very long wait before the encore. On returning, Thom thanked the
crowd, and they began...
I Might be Wrong--This
is one of those that floats right by. Again,
I may appreciate it more later. It's a good song, but I think I
haven't fully got myself around it yet.
one of the few Bends tracks they presented, and
it was a killer. Beautiful, beautiful job. What more can be said
Climbing up the Walls--Although
we'd heard it in sound check, I
really didn't believe they would play it in the show, but here
it was. The coolest thing is, we'd already heard it live once
during the soundcheck! Somehow that psychologically freed me up
to really enjoy the actual performance. I've always felt it's a
strange choice to perform live, but the less obvious choices are
sometimes better than the obvious. Great performance.
How to Disappear Completely--Okay,
I damn near teared up. I have
been in love with "How To Disappear" ever since I first
downloaded an mpeg of the 1997 performance of it in Toronto, the
one with the famous "This is for the bootleggers in the
audience" intro. I have always loved this song. I figured out
the chords and proper guitar voicings a couple years ago and
posted them to a.m.r. I seriously thought about recording my own
version of the song just for fun long before Kid A was actually
released. Suffice it to say, this song already meant a lot to me
long before Kid A was ever out. Now, for them to play it live at
Vancouver with me there, that's... utterly perfect.
Breathtaking. Wow. One image that particularly sticks out in my
mind: Johnny standing at his keyboard, playing the little
home-made sliding pitch control with his index finger.
With the end of "How
To Disappear" the band themselves disappeared
from the stage. The audience cheered enormously for more. Several
people directly behind us took up a chant demanding another encore.
I've forgotten the exact chant, but it was something like "No one
here will go home." Fortunately, the band returned again for the
This is where Dave's
story about the banner saying "Play Nude!"
comes in. However, I didn't see the banner. I *did* see that the
Asian guy and girl right next to me had opened their own banner, but
I *don't* think that was Dave, since I didn't see Thom look at them
as he returned to the stage. I didn't see the "Play Nude"
and didn't know what happened. All I saw, from my perspective, was
the two next to me had unfurled a banner, but I believe it went
unseen. However, Thom looked out toward the center of the head zone,
and lifted his blue shirt up to his neck, momentarily baring his
chest. And then the band went into...
Nude/Big Ideas (Don't
Get Any)--For the second time tonight, I
didn't recognize the song immediately. I thought it might be a
new song. Elisa pointed out what it was, and I was amazed! That
girl Elisa had been talking to before the show had got her wish!
:-) And Vancouver got a truly special treat: Not one, not two,
but *THREE* spontaneous set list changes! The song came to a
humorous end as Thom suddenly just stopped playing and the song
quickly fell apart, stalling. Thom mumbled, "Hm, yeah, I think
it ends something like that," and grinned mischievously.
Talk Show Host--I
knew this and Bishops Robes have been in their set
list in the past couple tours, and I knew there were regular
appearances, but it was still surprising and a thrill anyways. I
was even *thinking* they might play it just before they started
it, and it was *still* a surprise. Too good to believe. One of
my three or four favorite B-sides. And I love that RH are
willing to perform B-sides live--as well as an obscure
fan-favorite like Big Ideas.
a beloved favorite as a show closer. How perfect.
What actually really surprised me was that instead of going to
his electric piano, Johnny went over to the REAL piano and
played that. I'd grown used to the electric piano, but the
sacrifice was unnecessary now. It was a real treat (how any
treats did we get tonight??) to hear the song performed live
with a real piano. Beautiful. The only (very slight) letdown? It
didn't end with the abrasive guitar screech loop. But I'll
forgive them that one. :-)
With a few more "thank
you" words and some waves to the audience,
the band left to tremendous applause. This was, of course, the final
end of the show. But the greedy gang behind us again took up their
chant, "No one here will go home." Several of them lingered,
chanting, even as people drifted out. Finally they gave up and
departed with the crowd. Rick, Elisa and I waited behind to let the
audience thin out, until one of the security guys started chasing
An outstanding and
special show, made extra-special by three
spur-of-the-moment set list changes, particularly the spontaneous
performance of Big Ideas.
I'll be posting this full review online in the next 24 hours,
including some photos I took before the show. Here's my big regret:
I voluntarily took my digital camera back before being admitted.
SHIT! I should have just hidden it in my wife's bag. Security didn't
really check us out that carefully. I could have easily had some
photos, and Thom might have even posed for ME as he did for the guy
next to me! But unfortunately, I took the camera back. I *did* get
some pre-show photos, and I'll post two or three online with an HTML
version of this review. I'll also add other material related to the
Vancouver show, if others will help by sending anything relating to
So again, if you have
photos, audio recordings, press clippings,
ads, your own review, or anything else relating to the Vancouver
show, please please drop me a line by private email. Let's try to
preserve the memory of this show!
I was going to write
a more in depth review of the concert, which was a masterpiece, but
Dave already did a tremendous job. So, I'm just gonna throw out some
corrections, add-ons, and my notes I really feel a need to get out.
The sound at Thunderbird Stadium was incredible for an outdoor venue,
much better than the other concerts I've seen there. As for the crowd
at the show, well, it certainly was an odd one; half of it seemed as
if they had payed 50 bucks for nothing (I saw some guy wearing a skirt-like
thing and listening to headphones. I mean, what?), and the other half
were totally into it. Case in point; the giant sing-along to Karma Police,
which left me on such a high note I can't even describe it. I was on
the same boat as Dave, too, for Talk Show Host-I had been hoping all
night they would play it, even knowing they had been. When they did,
I was overjoyed. Unfortunately, Bishop's Robes was left off, but you
can't get everything you want, right? As for Thom's 'mumble mumble generic
crowd banter mumble mumble' was right near the beginning of the concert,
before Morning Bell. Thom threw out many other little quips too, such
as 'The sun will set soon, don't worry' (he said this a couple of times),
and, referring to I Might Be Wrong, 'This is called I Might Be Wrong.
It's about being lost on a mountain. Obviously.' which was easily my
favorite comment of the night. The Amnesiac songs, great as they are
on cd, really did come alive in concert; Packt Like Sardines was particularily
impressive, as was You And Whose Army?. This concert was remarkable,
especially given the difficulties Radiohead have previously had in Vancouver.
And a quick note on The Beta Band- I'm surprised people actually don't
like them. I'm a huge fan of them, as well, so seeing them was icing
on the cake. they definitely made the most of their time up there, and
went well with Radiohead. I really hope someone did record the concert,
because for it to be lost would be a crime. That's all. I'll shutup
I was in front row dead center for this show (out of 15,000...wow, i
actually got this spot)! Oh my goodness. The whole show was phenomenal.
My highlights were Permanent Daylight, In Limbo, Big Ideas (ahh! this
was definitely a surprise), and packt. It went by so quickly! I can
hardly remember anything! I'm sorry that I can't provide a very detailed
review...but all i can say is that is was FOOKIN AMAZING! There were
lots of surprises. The crowd was great (minus all the pushing and shoving).
Definitely a night to remember. Oh yes, i loved the band's attitude.
They were in a terrific mood. Thom was being funny too and he was making
jokes and all. - theokcomputer