August 9, 2008, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

35,000 people gathered in the mud, under the rain…
An hour to get in. Another hour to get out.
Sounds like an ordeal, doesn’t it ?

Well, let’s just say we deserved it. It’s almost a sin to watch radiohead perform during two hours. You have to be punished somehow ๐Ÿ™‚


Last night’s concert was, as my previous post suggests, many things. Unspeakable things. I even found myself uttering these words during the concert : ” Its.It’s.It’s… It’s !”. There were really no words to describe what we were witnessing. I was at their concert at Place des Arts in 2006, and, frankly, this one topped it in every way possible and it wasn’t a close call!

First of all, I don’t recall ever hearing a better live sound in my life. It was crystal clear (very hard to achieve outdoors). We could hear every minute detail and Thom Yorke’s voice was godlike, surfing over the music. Every nuance, every crack, every breath could be heard. And let me tell you something : this almost never happens. I can’t recall the last time I thought the sound was good at a gig. Let alone great.

The light bubble thingies hanging on the stage were the most innovative, beautiful and appropriate set decorations I’ve seen in my whole concert-going life. They were simply magical. The screens in the back added to the visual pleasantness. Overall, the concert was an unparalleled sensual experience.

Now on to the music. The setlist was really a sort of balance between the softer songs and the electro madness songs. Some rock anthems were thrown in, but they faded next to the majesty of the rest.I guess we can say the concert was very In Rainbows in attitude. Fans will know what I mean…

Highlights of the evening were :

  • Morning Bell, with an added section featuring a hypnotic vocal duo between Thom and Ed.
  • My Iron Lung, with the first light explosions of the evening that had us all go “Yeah” !
  • The majesty and restraint of Nude
  • Thom dancing freneticly on The Gloaming
  • La Ronde Fireworks going off during National Anthem (much to the band’s dismay)
  • “Because we separate…” during Reckoner was intense.
  • Piano-Bass version of Like Spinning Plates. Unrecognizable.
  • Thom :”If youโ€™re feeling cold you can always grab someone next to you”. Then Phil went to hug Colin
  • Idiotheque‘s fabulous new version. Top Notch.
  • Thom is interrupted by fireworks and a loud scream during Faust Arp. He starts laughing in mid-song. Crowd is delirious.
  • Paranoid Android ! need I say more ? Yes I need to. The lighting on that one was out of thie world, with rhytmic explosions of color.
  • The uber-fabulous Bangers and Mash, with Thom on drums (and, if you didn’t know him, you would think he was on acid too) . Why, oh, why wasn’t that song included on In Rainbows ?
  • Karma Police : Most moving moment of the night. 35,000 people sing along. “This is what you get”. Unity. Beauty. Then, Thom realizes the majesty of the moment and hangs around at the end to accompany the crowd with his acoustic guitar. then leaves the stage, ending the encore. My heart skipped a few beats in that one…
  • You and whose army ? : The most creepy live moment of my life. Thom York’s eye was being filmed from atop and he was trying his best to look intense and scary. In the end, realizing he was doing too much, he starts laughing… ๐Ÿ™‚
  • When you least expect it (i.e. after 24 songs), Everything in its right place enters and ends the show with an explosion of awesomeness and a light show from heaven, spelling out the lyrics.

It was hard to reduce the highlights list. But, what can I say, this is a Radiohead concert. Every note is a highlight.


To close off this long review, I’ll have to say that someone has yet to top Radiohead. They’re still the best band around and I don’t see any band out there that can remotly claim their throne…


Check out the setlist here

HD videos on yutube (excellent quality — thank you mr. Bootlegger)
My Iron Long
There There
Jigsaw Falling into place
Fake Plastic Trees
15 Steps
All I need

NB: did I mention that rainbows appeared in the sky right before their set? You can’t get more appropriate than that ! It’s almost cheesy…