Radiohead in London Night 2 – Glass Eyes

A glorious live debut …

 

 

Hey it’s me
I just got off the train
A frightening place
Their faces are concrete grey
And I’m wondering, should I turn around?
Buy another ticket
Panic is coming on strong
So cold, from the inside out
No great job, no message coming in
And you’re so small
Glassy eyed light of day
Glassy eyed light of day

The path trails off
And heads down a mountain
Through the dry bush, I don’t know where it leads
I don’t really care
And the path trails off
And heads down a mountain
Through the dry bush, I don’t know where it leads
I don’t really care

I feel this love turn cold
I feel this love turn cold

Radiohead in London – the fans

On both nights in of Radiohead’s London stint so far, it has felt as though the band is playing on home ground. Intriguingly – and this didn’t occur to me before because I love their new album – you can sense their surprise and enjoyment when they see how well the new songs are being received.

Thom mentioned this on the first night, ‘We were uncertain,’ he said, ‘it’s been a long time’.

For my part, I’ve been as awestruck by some of the band’s most dedicated followers as I have by the band itself.  Having been in both Paris and London, I have met and talked to a number of people who not only follow the band everywhere on this tour, but have been doing so for many years.

One woman I stood next to first saw Radiohead in 1993, and has been to every gig she can since then, including every gig on this European tour (Amsterdam, Paris and London in the past week, and then on to France, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Iceland …). Another was attending her 54th Radiohead gig. Others around me had stacked up several hundred over the past quarter of a century.

The woman on my other side last night had been watching Radiohead regularly since they released OK Computer. She lives in Australia, so for her, seeing the band entails a great deal of time commitment. And expense – to the tune of several thousands of dollars on this six week trip through Europe.

Whenever the band announces a new tour, this core group of fans goes to quite extreme lengths in order to organize ticket-buying for gigs that sell out in minutes and – as on this tour – have strict buyer limits.

Meeting such people has been fascinating. Their knowledge of and dedication to the creativity of these ‘unlikely’ men from Oxford is astonishing. I really enjoy talking to people with ‘time depth’ – a deep historical knowledge of whatever it is they are passionate about. Fans of this band genuinely do have time depth: their connection with the band’s music, personal dynamics, and live performances goes back a very long way.

At last night’s gig, security staff employed by the band came to the queue ten minutes before the doors opened and escorted four people into the venue. These, too, were long-time fans, who had been to many hundreds of gigs worldwide and are well-known to a band that likes to repay loyalty.

So to anyone (still?) reading about my ‘Radiohead week’ on this blog, who may have wondered at my dedication to seeing the band – really, I’m just an amateur and a cheapskate. I have other passions, and a life I will enjoy going back to once I get out of this bubble.

Radiohead in London Night 2 – setlist and notes

Objectively, this was a brilliant setlist, the pick of the tour so far. But to be honest, I’ve enjoyed them all equally. The band’s back catalogue of thirty years of songs is so strong …

 

 

  1. Burn The Witch
  2. Daydreaming
  3. Decks Dark
  4. DID
  5. Ful Stop
  6. Airbag
  7. Kid A (tour debut)
  8. Separator
  9. No Surprises
  10. Glass Eyes (live debut)
  11. Pyramid Song
  12. National Anthem
  13. The Numbers
  14. Identikit
  15. Myxomatosis
  16. Idioteque
  17. Street Spirit

[End of Main Set]

[Encore 1]

  1. Bloom
  2. Present Tense
  3. EIIRP
  4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief
  5. Arpeggi

[Encore 2]

  1. Bodysnatchers
  2. Karma Police

 

Anyway, look at the 7 song sequence in the middle of this set – from Airbag through to National Anthem. That was a brilliant sequence.

I loved hearing Glass Eyes live – this had been on my wish list, and again, I had resigned myself to not hearing it because it’s a tough one to reproduce live. But the live version is fantastic. I will post a video in due course.

The atmosphere in the hall was terrific, the most intense so far – a Friday night London crowd hyped up by reviews of the first night like this, this and this. Thom was even cockier than the night before, milking the applause and – right at at the end – leading the audience in their own encore of the final verse of Karma Police as the rest of the band stood off stage.

Awesome.

 

Radiohead in London – Nude (including restart)

Another highlight from Radiohead’s first London gig.

Around the 45 second mark on this video you’ll hear Jonny trying to play his keyboard on the wrong setting – the song stops, Thom takes the piss, they restart …

… and perform it to perfection.

 

 

By the way, this particular song seems to be a bit hexed for the band right now. Performing it in Paris on Tuesday, Thom stopped singing halfway to alert staff that someone had fainted a few rows back in the pit … before resuming from where they left off.

The incident happens just after the 3 minute mark …

 

 

 

Radiohead in London Night 1 – Setlist

Highlights – Exit Music, it was mesmerising, the audience stopped breathing for this.

2 + 2 = 5 live is a riot. Myxomatosis and Planet Telec were great surprises. I adore Daydreaming live.

I was standing in the pit, dead centre, 2nd row, a few metres from Thom. He was full of energy, funny, cocky, and happy – and his voice seems to get better with every show. He is incredibly intense in most songs, but in Exit Music tonight he went way past intense, I really can’t describe how that felt from where I was standing. I will look for a good video of it and post this in due course.

That’s it for now.