20.08.08 by Jeff

Radiohead Vancouver was epic!

There is no photo for this post. I didn’t bring my camera, and no google image is going to do this any justice.

I just got home from the Radiohead show here in Vancouver and I am still in shock. It was incredible. I finally know now what everyone has been saying about Radiohead for years. I mean I have always liked them but I don’t think I ever really believed that OK Computer was one of the best albums ever or fully understood what all the hype was about. Until tonight.

I have seen the light. Radiohead really is the greatest band in the history of the universe. If you have experienced their live show I don’t know how you could possibly disagree with that statement. Please give me a moment to describe for you the ending of the show which was as close to a spiritual encounter as most people will ever experience.

It was an outdoor show (Thunderbird Stadium) in Vancouver – so naturally, it rained. Bad weather usually puts a damper on an outdoor concert but tonight the rain serendipitously brought the show to another level. After playing a two-hour set filled with everything from “Just” to “House of Cards” and returning for a second encore, Thom Yorke gave the crowd a choice between “Idioteque” and “Paranoid Android” to close the night.

We chose “Paranoid Android” (I’ve linked the video for the few people who don’t know the song).

(I’ll switch to present tense here for effect)

The song begins. Sheets of rain light up in the sky above everyone as the stage lights pulsate to the opening guitar riff. Some people start to sing along “When I am king, you will be first against the wall, with your opinion which is of no consequence at all.” It rains harder and harder. “Ambition makes you look pretty ugly, kicking, squealing gucci little piggy.” More rain, and the band gets into the breakdown AKA the “you don’t remember, you don’t remember” part of the song. And then suddenly everything seems to go into slow motion. “Rain down, rain down, come on rain down on me – from a great height, from a great height, height”. Everyone in the entire place is singing. “Rain down, rain down, come on rain down on me – from a great height, from a great height, heiiiighhht”. I look around and I find other sets of eyes realising how amazing this moment truly is. “God loves his children, God loves his children, yeah.”

After the show was over I felt the same way I did when I watched Michael Phelps win his 8th gold medal on television. It was like witnessing a piece of history. Seeing a person do something, or a band play something that will be talked about for years to come, is pretty special.

I am pulling an all-nighter here waiting to take my sister to the airport and don’t have a witty way of wrapping this up, but maybe people could share in the comments about concert experiences they’ve had.





  • Kyle

    Great Show!!! What’s Hamada!!!

    “your not funny, you just don’t get out much ;)”

  • http://www.vasho.ca vasho

    o yea, wicked show!

  • Stephanie

    This show rocked! Even with the rain, I think it was truly amazing. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen Radiohead live and each time is better than the last. And I have to agree the perfection of playing Paranoid Android as the last song as the rain poured down on all of us…truly amazing.

  • Adriana

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the show.

  • http://www.masmenos.org gus gavino

    We didn’t get the rain, but fireworks (literally, from the lake side ) went off behind Radiohead as they capped off the first day of Lollapalooza.

  • kalli anne

    synchro of video/sound/lights = awesome awesome awesome. gave me the chills over and over. i couldnt bother with photos either. i have a good aftermath shot of the rain i did not prepare for though.

  • Tommy

    Definitely the best concert i have ever been to surpassing U2 coldplay the shins etc. there is just no comparison with the show we all witnessed yesterday spectacular from beginning to end no doubt about it. I cant believe i finally got to see Radiohead have been waiting for this moment for about 4 to 5 years.!

  • http://www.jeffhamada.com/ jeffhamada

    awesome that so many of you guys made it out there! ahah kyle sorry i lost you guys i was standing behind andre the giant and had to push my way through so i could see!

    yea the video and lights were so great – the videos alone were better than most music videos these days, great work by whoever was putting that stuff to music.

    what was the song where Yorke got on the drums (the first time) and said it was a nasty little song?

  • Shinead

    This was my first Radiohead concert and it was an amazing experience. I didn’t even realized how cold i was until after the concert because i was so mesmerized by the entire thing. I was a little sad they didn’t play Idioteque, i voted for that one!

  • kyle n

    Hey jeff no problem. The song was ‘bangers and mash’.

  • Alle5

    I love Radiohead since their first album.

    I was in Milan and it was really incredible too! ;)

    I think that Radiohead are the really rock world band ever

    I got some photos (many mt far) and videos of Milan concert, write me a mail and I’ll send it to everyone ;)

    Ps. Paranoid Android & The National Anthem N#1! :))

  • http://pandabones.com amanda

    why couldn’t i find all of you pumped people at the show!?

    it was amazing. despite the crowd.
    i think i might have to sell my soul the next time they come remotely close. or sell it to pay my way abroad and just go see them play in different countries.

    religious experience only begins to describe it.

  • fiona b

    you described the last song perfectly. This song was the perfect nod to the place and time. I was surrounded by very vocal fans (and good singers, so we had the best company the entire time). I lifted my head to the sky with the rain now teaming down and felt for a brief moment that we were all in the same shower…which of course we were.
    fantastic.

  • http://www.jeffhamada.com/ jeffhamada

    thanks Fiona! yea i love the way rain looks when its lit up by a big light, sometimes i stare at the big lights when i walk through the park by the soccer field.

  • http://www.ninjavspenguin.com Emily Wong

    Hi Jeff,

    Oh, I absolutely <3 Radiohead!!! I caught them at the All Points West festival in August. My heart breaks (in a good way) whenever I hear Thom Yorke’s haunting voice.

    I took some crappy photos of the show. I say crappy because I’m a foot shorter than everyone else in the crowd, but the LED light show was pretty cool.

    http://www.ninjavspenguin.com/blog/2008/08/12/some-photos-from-the-all-points-show/