Radiohead @ White River Amphitheatre ’08

Radiohead, one of my favourite bands, played at Whiteriver Amphitheater recently. Of course i went to see them…
Radiohead doesnt tour Seattle too often. It seems they last played here about 5 years ago. Given that and also the fact that they are probably one of the biggest bands out there today, the show was sold out. I bot my ticket in the presale. I still remember the flurry of emails at work on the day the tickets got released, and people comparing the seats they got with the ones others had. Well the pre-sale tickets were gone in minutes. There was huge excitement about the show.
Little later, RH released a live set of them playing In Rainbows songs. The performance was real tight and my excitement was only getting bigger. I couldnt wait to see the band play and especially, to see Thom sing.
There were about 15-20,000 tickets and they were all sold out. You could see the excitement just as you walked towards the venue. Yeah but the show, the show was disappointing and a total let down. Yes, thats how i felt.
Here is the setlist:
15 Step
There There
All I Need
Pyramid Song
Talk Show Host
The National Anthem
The Gloaming
Faust Arp
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Climbing Up The Walls
Dollars and Cents
Encore 1:
How to Disappear Completely
Arpeggi/Weird Fishes
In Limbo
Street Spirit
Encore 2:
You And Whose Army?
No Surprises
Everything In Its Right Place
First thing i felt was majorly wrong was the setlist. If you dont agree with me, then just create a playlist of that setlist and give it a listen. The songs werent mixed well at all. I mean, you cannot follow one slow song with another, and that with another one. Second was the playing, what happened to improvisation? I dint see much at all. Whats the fun in playing all the songs as is? Then i think they majorly miss the live element. I mean, shouldnt they be getting the crowd into the song and their performance? I dint see anyone of them do any of that. There was no introductions to the songs or talk abt their tour or anything, no nothing. It was like they were airing the show on a huge 3D screen in front of us. Damn. The other thing is I dont think Thom sang well at all. There was no zip, no soul in vocals barring a few songs. The stage was pretty and the lights were flashy but werent we going there for the music?
All right, the biggest disappointment for me was they screwup of "Faust Arp". The song was supposed to be played by Thom and Johnny. They start and then, there was a goof up. I think Thom missed something. They start again and guess what, they miss again. Then Thom starts playing "Tell me why" (neil young) which Johnny dint play. Thom takes a few steps back and then says "Fuck it" and continues the song from where they messed up. I think that was HIGHLY UN-PROFESSIONAL. First, they messed the song and they should be sorry abt it (ashamed?) instead of accepting that they say the F word? I felt that they dint care for the fans and then secondly, they think too highly of themselves. Probably i was the only one who was booing them at that point. Flea once said that he asks "Would Neil Young do this?" when in doubt. I think Thom should ask himself that question.
On a side note, the song is amazing and i just love the webcast version of the song.
I liked they way they finished the show. Each member walked out as their part in the song was over. Thom left first and Johnny left last and the music continued. I guess the message was the music will prevail even after they are gone. But guys, what about a bow together? Aah, from the biggest band of our times, i would expect way better. Next time Radiohead is in town, I will think twice before i get the tickets for sure.
PS: I think Whiteriver is the worst venue in Seattle. Unless i have to see someone, i will never go there again. It took me 4 hrs to get there and about 2 hrs just to get out of their 100m parking lot and another 2 hrs from there to get home. Thank god, I405 wasnt jam at night.
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