Thom dedicated Airbag to the oil companies. He dedicated Packt like Sardines to all the people who got stuck in traffic on the way up (which meant a lot). It was a full moon and a very clear night. In the middle of the set, Thom pointed to the moon and said "Isn't that beautiful? Ok, here's the plan. Everyone start saving money now. In 50 years, we'll all be able to afford to go live there. Because this place is fucked." Thom said that "Big Ideas" was a request from a guy in the front row. He introduced Talk Show Host as a dirty song. During all of You and whose army Thom was mugging for the piano camera, which had the crowd in hysterics. He said that The Bends was a song "to put everyone off ever being in a band." [thanks John] During 'The Bends' thom said "i wish it was the 60's, i wish we were Oasis, I wish....." [thanks Matt]
the band hesitated
before starting talk show host and thom asked them "okay then which
one are we playing? we'll do the dirty one second.." (meaning nude).
also they made some mistakes during nude which made thom prompt "third
verse" while looking at ed who seemed lost.. when i mentioned their
performance of nude to colin later that evening he was really
some soundcheck notes: (no order) like spinning plates (!) the band were obviously still rehearsing this because it was mostly thom on piano calling out chord changes while the rest of them tried to keep up. it sounded very cool, quite similar in some ways to the recorded version though it seemed thom was actually singing words the whole time.
idioteque - thom kept
shouting for more snare and then forced jonny to stay afterwards and
fiddle with his drum machine till it was just right. but during the
performance he kept gesturing to jonny for more of this or that, though
jonny never turned around. they also played bulletproof... in the soundcheck
which was gorgeous. [thanks Vanessa]
An exaggeration, maybe. But for all the mixed reactions to Amnesiac -- specifically, the ongoing squabble among supporters as to whether the album is yet another work of art-rock genius or an overblown EP with three good tracks on it -- the Oxford, U.K., band's newest work held up remarkably well alongside previously road-tested giants from last year's KIDA, 1997's O.K. Computer, and '95s The Bends.
With last year's stunning, scaled-down show at the Air Canada Centre still a fresh memory, Radiohead expanded the tone of that appearance to fill Molson Park's leafier surroundings, and wash over a sold-out crowd of 25,000 (capacity was scaled back from the venue's usual standard of 35,000, making things notably more comfortable in the crowd).
Of course, the vast-open space meant that the group had to observe at least one concert tradition in the form of two jumbo screens. Even those visuals got an inventive treatment: Numerous tiny, immobile cameras were planted around the stage, and the scratchy, claustrophobic black-and-white images they transmitted looked more like footage from a security tape than from a splashy rock show.
With the band cranking out a tense set in the middle, it was a bit like simultaneously watching a live concert and a German art film. Only during the encore, for a version of Amnesiac tune You And Whose Army, did frontman Thom Yorke finally acknowledge a camera -- back to the audience at a piano, staring straight into its lens and therefore into the eyes of everyone watching and cooing a creepy serenade.
Yorke, for his part, seemed more at ease, less self-conscious, than in the past. That is to say, he still looked as if his head was going to explode, but he seemed relaxed about it, shifting and twitching like some electrified gear while guitarist Jonny Greenwood, guitarist-singer Ed O'Brien, bassist Colin Greenwood, and drummer Phil Selway -- the latter two having evolved into a surprisingly fluid, deceptively funky rhythm section -- worked buzzingly around him.
From the first flex of opening tune The National Anthem, the band set a pace that was sustained for the duration of the two-hour-plus set.
And, having locked into a watertight harmony, the band was even free to swing out a bit within that, whether on the fuzz-bass propelled Pakt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box and the anthemic, singalong hits Karma Police and Paranoid Android, or the loping, ghostly jazz pulse of Pyramid Song.
Chalk it up to a sound mix that was leagues ahead of the open-air standard, but Jonny Greenwood's presence came across as vividly as Yorke's, his clanging guitar patterns resting just above the other instruments and becoming another voice in the process.
Short of echoing the usual, slavishly positive reviews that greet Radiohead each time they've played these parts, this is a band who, having long since entered their prime, have raised the performance bar on themselves once again.
Prior to a brief set by Montreal turntablist Kid Koala, Scottish openers The Beta Band offered an ideal companion set earlier in the evening, easing their way through half-a-dozen electro-folk-rock sketches, including best-known tune Dry The Rain -- wisely included for the newcomers in the crowd -- Inner Meet Me, Dr. Baker, and Squares.
By Colin Hatfield
The Radiohead show
at Molson park was amazing. Beta Band was alright, and Kid Koala was
good, using some sick Radiohead samples among others, but Radiohead,
as always, delivered the goods, and the goods was solid gold.
By Ted Mitrousis