There was a point during the show the other night where I realized I was completely fucking alone.
I'm sure there were other people there, I mean there must have been other people there because it took 20 minutes for my feet to hit concrete as I tried to exit the lawn at the former World Music Theater (I don't know who owns it now and I don't care).
But within the tens of thousands of people standing with their hands stretched out towards the sky, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that I felt completely by myself. It was fucking magic. Even among so many fucking people, Radiohead created an intimately mindblowing environment that allowed myself, and everyone I overheard afterwards, a two hour escape into a catalog that's gradually working its way towards classic.
Whereas I normally find myself frustrated by the logistics of moving through the waves of so many people, maybe attending concerts by myself is the antidote to wanting to kill every shitbird in my way. Not that Radiohead instills in me a desire to spill the blood of the innocent or anything, but patience at a concert, regardless of the soundtrack, sometimes eludes me. As I left the venue I kept thinking how I had no fucking problems throughout the entire evening, and maybe that has everything to do with I'm too involved in making sure I don't lose the people I came with.
To this I say, Fuck going to huge concerts with friends. Your friends are just holding you back bros. The freeing feeling of taking a piss whenever I wanted meant I didn't miss a fucking lick of anything at all, and I was never in a rush or waiting on anyone. I liken attending this Radiohead concert solo to walking around my house without pants, it was fucking awesome and I hope to do it again as soon as possible. (SORRY FOR THE TANGENT BRO)
Radiohead have been one of my favorite bands since high school, where The Bends dominated my country doob cruises and late night headphone sessions. When I left for California after my first attempt at college, there were 3 specific songs on the OK Computer album that turned out to be all I really needed to face any of the shit that flew my way while away from the nest. Kid A and Amnesiac were huge in their own right. In Rainbows might have been one of the best surprises of my adult life, as I took to that entire album the way I used to take to albums when I had nothing better to do than listen to music. I've routinely found solace in whatever they create, as Radiohead remains one of the last big acts I actively seek out new material from, and regarding the slim opportunities to catch them live, while always out of my price range, Radiohead concerts are the things I get overly fucking giddy for.
I've seen them four times, now five, and each of those shows is in my top 10 concert experiences, and all for vastly different, yet eerily similar reasons. Last Sunday was the largest amount of awe and wonder I've ever felt myself feeling while witnessing Radiohead in concert. At one point I realized that my eyes were bugging out of my fucking skull, my mouth was wide open, drool was about to spill over my lip and my hands were straight up in the air. I must've looked like (even more of) a piece of shit, but I didn't fucking care. Radiohead was fucking amazing.
With a stage set up that has moved so far beyond a few flashing lights and some fog, Radiohead has grown out of the simple and customarily "rock concert" into a constantly evolving and tastefully imaginative display that isn't just badfuckingass to stare at, it feels deliciously and intentionally orchestrated, while seeming as random and scattered as some of their breakdowns. Radiohead's lighting rig consists of narrow strips of digital awesome draped behind the entire band, but then suspended above them were 12 constantly moving, turning, rotating and descending tv or projection screens topped off with what looked like 6 stationary screens in a bar across the top of the stage. I'm sure I'm screwing up what was what as far as specific terminology, but I don't give a Fuck, I was mesmerized by what I heard, of course, but what I saw was so fucking tits if I hand't been standing amidst of crowd of strangers I probably would've touched it bro. Mmmhmm.
I'm not one of those concert goers that writes down set lists or gets pissed when certain songs aren't performed, but two of my favorite songs Street Spirit and Everything In Its Right Place were absolute fucking tear-inducing, goosebump-causing, sensual-nuttugging perfection. In addition to bouncing around through songs that are fucking perfectly exciting to hear live, there were two specific moments during Radiohead's show where they had the nearly 26,000 in attendance completely silent. To witness a group with such power is awe inspiring, and just as soon as we tilted our heads back and enjoyed a slight breeze carrying out the millions of buckets of humidity, boom slaps another fucking jam and those of us in the crowd are back by ourselves jamming the Fuck out without a care in the fucking world.
Radiohead is so fucking awesome to see live, I don't even want to write the whole "you should've been there". No, rather, I'll say something else that I think makes more sense now with "You should be there next time." Seriously, regardless of whether or not you love them like I do, or hate them like Tim does, they're fucking amazing.
Oh, best thing about going to the show solo? ROAD HEAD ON THE WAY HOME BROS.