Radiohead 7/27/16

(a) setlist

    1. Burn The Witch
    2. Daydreaming
    3. Decks Dark
    4. Desert Island Disk
    5. Ful Stop
    6. My Iron Lung
    7. Climbing Up The Walls
    8. Morning Mr. Magpie
    9. Pyramid Song
    10. Bloom
    11. Identikit
    12. The Numbers
    13. The Gloaming
    14. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
    15. Everything In Its Right Place
    16. Idioteque
    17. There There

Encore 1:

  1. Give Up The Ghost
  2. Let Down
  3. Present Tense
  4. Planet Telex
  5. Karma Police

Encore 2:

  1. Reckoner
  2. Creep

(b) highlights

  • Two nights in a row of Radiohead, I don’t deserve this life
  • I’VE BEEN WAITING LIKE 10 YEARS TO FINALLY HEAR “KARMA POLICE” AND THEY FINALLY PLAYED IT LIVE, WAHHHH
  • Looooooooooooool, Christ Almighty they played “Creep” live. Nope. First time they played it in the U.S. in 12 years. I was laugh-crying throughout the whole thing
  • The same way “No Surprises” made me feel really emotional the night before, “Climbing Up The Walls” totally wrecked me at this show
  • Dayummm, “There There” sounds so good live; Ed O’Brien on those drums alongside Phil Selway was top notch
  • the energy of the entire set felt just a few notches above the previous night; both the setlist and crowd felt more adventurous and alive
  • Thom chatted a bit more to the audience, mostly saying mundane things that ended up feeling moving and profound just because Thom Yorke was saying them (e.g. “Everything will be better when we wake up. But we need to wake up.”)
  • have I mentioned Thom Yorke’s dancing?? Because his dancing needs to be mentioned.

(c) lowlights

  • I’m just going to quietly say that we might not have needed so many songs from King of Limbs and maybe could’ve gotten “Talk Show Host” or “True Love Waits” but REALLY this show was amazing and I will not be complaining when half of New York couldn’t even get tickets

(d) overall thoughts

Is seeing the same band two nights in a row at the same venue ever necessary? What a dumb ass question that is, first of all, and second of all, the setlist for Radiohead’s second night at Madison Square Garden might as well be a work of art. I initially wasn’t planning on going to this show, but fate brought me back to that arena and I know it’s because it was finally time for me to hear my favorite Radiohead song of all time: “Karma Police.” Yeah, it might be basic, but oh well. I don’t care.

Just like the night before, Radiohead didn’t hold back any emotional punches when it came to crafting their performance. The lighting was just as eerie, the songs just as touching, and the sound was just as perfectly played. Thom appeared a bit looser, a bit more relaxed, and nearly undetectable string of energy felt like it was vibrating through the crowd all night. Each song felt like a set piece or episodic chapter in a larger story; the narrative played out quite well. “Climbing Up The Walls” was freaking phenomenal, “My Iron Lung” was such a treat, “Weird Fishes” felt like it floated around the whole arena without ever touching down while “There There” pounded its way right through the core of everyone, and I can’t even begin with the encore.

The pairing of “Let Down” with “Present Tense” and then “Planet Telex” with “Karma Police” felt like it was designed to destroy me in the best way possible. I know I’ll never forget that feeling of being all the way up in the rafters and overlooking the band and crowd and just singing with every fiber of me, “For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myseeeellllff.” God. What magic. It felt like the whole crowd had become a single tingling being by the time “Reckoner” ended that I feel like I don’t even remember being present when “Creep” started. Thom said into the mic, “Well, this is show business” just before the opening notes began and it was suddenly so hard for me to not laugh. Not in a funny way, but in a “Wow, I cannot believe this is actually happening right now and not some strange dream.” You know a show is good when you go from feeling pure excitement to profound sadness followed by total elation and unbelievable shock in a 10-minute span. What a show, what a night, what a band, what a life.

Bottom line: There’s no other band in the world like Radiohead and I hope there never is one like them again. Because we don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve it. But man, I can’t help but enjoy it.

 

*Bonus Material: I took several videos of the night and they’re mostly of Thom’s dancing and me scream-singing-crying, but this bit of “Creep” was salvageable:

 

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