Radiohead, who could easily sell out Madison Square Garden in a matter of minutes (if not seconds), recently performed two shows at Manhattan’s Roseland Ballroom, capacity 3500. Our pal Gunner and his magic fingers were somehow able to score 2 tickets via Ticketmaster for the second show, and it was confirmed: we were going to see Radiohead at what will most likely be the smallest venue of our lifetimes. Needless to say, we were both incredibly excited to see our favorite band in such an intimate venue, and it was a show I will surely never forget.
Their setlist (which you can see below) may not seem like the greatest Radiohead setlist of all time, especially on paper. But it was pretty clear, the band is warming up for a much larger tour in 2012, and they set out to play a lot of their newer material, particularly from their last few records and The King of Limbs. They also made it a point to play three new songs, only one of which has been released in some form (Supercollider). Keep on reading below to get some of my inpressons of the show, see some of my photos from the night, and watch the whole entire concert if you so please (just click each track in the setlist).
I’m not sure what you thought of The King of Limbs when it first came out. I’ll admit, I wasn’t amazed by it. Initially it didn’t move me like In Rainbows did. But then the Live From the Basement special aired, and I immediately rediscovered some of the songs from the album that I really wasn’t feeling at first. Like Feral, for instance (thanks Gunner). Hearing the songs performed on Live From the Basement, it finally started to click. Actually seeing the band on stage, up close and personal, performing these songs added a whole new dimension to it all. I thought Live From the Basement was better than The King of Limbs, and now I’m convinced seeing Radiohead perform these songs live and in person is the best possible way to take it all in. The opened their set with Bloom, which on the album felt like it was lacking a certain something… whatever that certain something was, they found it and jammed it into the live performance, and it opened my eyes and ears to what that song could actually sound like.
Some of my personal highlights from the night were their infectious new track Staircase, a damn near perfect rendition of Subterranean Homesick Alien, standing there mouth agape when Thom started perfoming True Love Waits on the piano as the intro to Everything In It’s Right Place, getting down and weird to Lotus Flower, and an absolutely killer performance of Reconker. They ended their first encore with Bodysnatchers, and the climax in that song also made me almost lose my mind. It was a such an excellent show. I’ll do everything I can to see them again next year in an undoubtedly much larger venue. I’m just so thrilled that I was able to attend the very exclusive preview of what’s to come in 2012.
Thanks to Youtube users godieinhell2 and hellspawn3000 for their awesome videos. Click each track in setlist below to watch a corresponding video from the show. And click to enlarge each photo, taken by yours truly with Gunner’s camera.