Saturday, March 10, 2012

Radiohead @ Scottrade Center

A photo taken earlier in the tour.
Other Lives delivered a solid opening performance. It wasn't stunning, but it was very good.  Their dark folk-rock sound is rather unique which made for a more interesting opener. They played about eight songs from their newest album, Tamer Animals, and then they were done. Because of the arrangement of their stage, I couldn't really see what most of them were doing. Like Radiohead, they had six members including two percussionists.

Finally, they took the stage. Radiohead. They opened with "Bloom" off their most recent album, The King of Limbs. Although they didn't always sound exactly like on the album, they did sound fantastic. Johnny, Ed, and Thom were changing guitars about every song to fit the unique feel of each tune. I had heard that Radiohead doesn't care to play many older songs and this is somewhat true. However, the third song was "Airbag" from 1997's hit album, OK Computer. When playing "Karma Police," a crowd favorite, Thom sang "this is what you get when you forget the words." They didn't play anything from before 1997 which meant no "Sulk" and no "Creep." They did play seven of the eight songs from The King of Limbs, "Codex" being the odd one out.

Halfway through the main set, the band played "an obscure song" called "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy." They also played "Identikit," a new unreleased track, and "The Daily Mail," a non-album single released in the past year. They played two encores. The first encore began with "Give Up The Ghost" played by just Thom and Johnny. The layered vocals and dark subject-matter made it one of the most beautiful performances of the evening. The second encore ended with "Idioteque," a stunning and somewhat unexpected choice for a closer song.

When bands are big enough to sell out stadiums like this, it's expected that they have some kind of a light show. In Radiohead fashion, they had something that was simple and complex at the same time. They had a wall of screen behind them and twelve floating square screens above them. The screens moved into different positions between songs and had live video of each band member.

In my mind, Radiohead is one of the best and most creative bands ever. They write songs that connect with us and move us. They write songs that don't sound like anything else. With all of these things as expectations, they didn't disappoint at all.

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