June 1, 2012

Radiohead played the Prudential Center

It seems almost unfair to still be calling Radiohead an indie band since they headline arenas and festivals across the globe, but whatever term you use to describe them doesn't matter. The demigods from Oxford  stopped by Newark last night for their first of two shows in the area and much like their performance at Coachella, the band stuck to more recent tracks from King of Limbs and In Rainbows. Thom claimed "we're not ready to play the greatest hits" at one point, much to the disappointment of long time fans. However, anyone who left the show disappointed needs to do some reassessing. While King of Limbs may not have resonated well with fans and critics upon its release last year, when performed live, the new songs can easily hold their own with the exceptional brilliance of past Radiohead classics. "Morning Mr. Magpie", "Lotus Flower" and "Daily Mail" reveled in an arena setting and the band was able to give new meaning to these songs as they sounded so much more expansive; clearly these songs are meant for performance rather than recordings. Older tracks such as "There There" and "Myxomatosis" were nice surprises that found their way into the earlier half of the show and despite the fact that the band only played one song from their 90's hey day (the gorgeous "Karma Police", the encore consisted heavily of their genius work from the early 00's. It has become more apparent on this tour that the band is really trying to show how progressive and forward thinking they have become as a group and are moving further and further away from their guitar rocking days of the past. The turn towards electronics over the past decade seems to be the focus of the band's live show these days and that is not a bad thing. Even when the insanity of "Idioteque" became too much and caused the band to stumble, Ed came in to save the day after Thom said "ah fuck it" and just contiuned to move around like a maniac. He apologized for having too many machines at the start of the encore and did not let the problem get in the way of a stellar "National Anthem". With the rhythm section acting as the backbone and standing firmly in place, Thom danced across the stage like a mad man and with more energy than I have ever seen before and their dazzling light show left people breathless. Even without playing the hits, Radiohead are able to drive demand sky high and captivate people like no one else on the planet.

"15 Step"
"The Daily Mail"
"The Gloaming"
"Morning Mr. Magpie"
"Lotus Flower"
"There There"
"Karma Police"
"You and Whose Army?"
"Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"
"Everything In It's Right Place"
"Give Up the Ghost"
"The National Anthem"

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