I first have a disclaimer to note before I dive into my review of the Radiohead portion of Lolla. First, I hate it when someone says a band’s show is awesome, due to the fact that they never go to shows and don’t even know what awesome is. Second, I hate when people say a band did an awesome show just because the band is really good. No matter how talented, any band can have a bad show.
One last thing to note is that I really dig Radiohead but I by no means worship them to the extent that most people do. Furthermore, In Rainbows was a good, solid album but I wouldn’t call it the album of the year for 2007 like damn near everyone did.
With that said, you are about to read an honest, unbiased review of Radiohead.
First off, I was crushed that the sound was so low. I could’ve literally had a conversation with my friend without even raising my voice. I wanted my ears to be ringing when I witnessed “Paranoid Android” for the first time, but sadly this did not happen.
My next complaint is that I literally was clueless as to how Rolling Stone could name them “Best Festival Act.” Simply put, with the exception of “There, There,” I was immensely unimpressed for the first half hour; it just wasn’t exciting. Did they have a wickedly rad light show consisting of dozens of clear icicle-looking lights that blasted all sorts of of colors all over the place? Hell yes they did, but this brings up one more thing I hate, and that is when people think a show is awesome based on the visual treats and not the music.
Now, before I get crucified, here comes the good part. Maybe it was the fact that this was the first show of the tour, and that explains the temporary boredom. I don’t really know what it was to be honest. But out of nowhere I suddenly just became amazed, enthralled.
I’m going to sound like I am one of those Radiohead worshippers, but Radiohead have this quality that is hard to define. Radiohead’s music grips you, you’re drawn in like a moth to flame, and it takes you places (boy, do I sound cheesy right now). Anyway, when they played “The National Anthem” I finally saw the Radiohead that everyone talks about and I was relieved and stoked out of my mind.
“Jigsaw Falling Into Place” was one of the biggest highlights. I never realized how much energy that song had — it was as if the song took over Thom Yorke. There is nothing I love more than when I can tell the musician actually feels what they are playing.
The next insanely glorious moment was the duo of “Everything in its Right Place” and “Fake Plastic Trees” with — wait for it — fireworks! It’s still up in the air whether this was actually part of the show or not. Nonetheless, forget Pink Floyd laser light shows, we need Radiohead fireworks shows. It was certainly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in concert.
“1984″ is one of my favorite books and it’s beyond me why no one has adapted it into a kick-ass film (Zack Snyder, get on it!). Suddenly, I felt like I was in that world that George Orwell wrote about and was attending some illegal concert as a helicopter continuously flew above the show and shined its spotlight on the crowd.
“Videotape” was being performed as this was running through my mind. I could picture the trailer to the movie in my head as Yorke repeated “On videotape, on videotape.” Why the hell did I think of this? I have no freaking clue, but that’s what I meant when I said Radiohead take you places. As Thom Yorke eerily drones on the lyrics, you become mesmerized.
My life became complete at around 10 p.m. August 1, 2008, because they closed the show with “Idioteque.” As Thom Yorke shouted, “Take the money and run! Take the money and run! Take the money!” I got goosebumps up and down my arms. Don’t I sound like a fanboy now? I was completely in awe of their performance. Who cares about the rocky start, because Radiohead took me places. Are they as good as people say? Yes.
Day one is now over. I wish I could of seen more of the Raconteurs, because I’ve never given them the listen that they deserve and I was thoroughly impressed with the portion of the set I managed to see. Jack White is a guitar virtuoso; I could watch him play all day. I’ve been to countless shows, and somehow this was my first time to see all the bands I mentioned: The Go! Team, The Black Keys, Duffy, the Raconteurs, and the mighty Radiohead. Can’t wait for day two…
Radiohead Set List:
01. 15 Step
03. There There
04. All I Need
07. The Gloaming
08. The National Anthem
09. Faust Arp
10. No Surprises
11. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
14. The Bends
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Fake Plastic Trees
19. Paranoid Android
20. Dollar and Cents
21. House of Cards