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.