In Rainbows (Literally)
I knew what I was getting myself into. While in London several weeks ago I caught one of the two big Radiohead concerts in Victoria Park. I think there were something like 60,000 people there on that beautiful summer’s night and the show was great but the crush of people and long lines to exit were not. Sometime during that evening I swore off attending anymore ultra big shows like that – except for the same one in Montreal yesterday for which I already had tickets.
Drizzly weather, muddy grounds, a different and closer vantage point, and a little more space. This time I could actually enjoy the music. And it was so good! We heard somebody near us say “in my top 5, definitely” after the last encore and that seemed to be the consensus. It takes a really strong band to pretty much unanimously win over a dirty and damp crowd of 35,000. A band who has made a career – not just a couple albums – of catchy, enduring, and artistically interesting tunes. Mix in a superb light show on stage – hanging vertical light bars, wide and deep – some dry Thom Yorke humour, and even half an hour of fireworks on the horizon (Montreal is spoiled; there are pyromusicals every week during the summer) and you’ve got yourself a wonderful evening. Except for the dreadfully long wait to exit afterwards…ah well.
If you haven’t already downloaded and listened to In Rainbows, do. Here’s a couple elegantly simple videos from the band. Or check out James Houston‘s inventive remix of Radiohead’s lovely song Nude using spare hardware components; something he presented at Interesting 2008.