Exit Music (for a Film)
Everything in Its Right Place
You and Whose Army?
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
2 + 2 = 5
Fake Plastic Trees
“Bring down the government, they don’t speak for us.” As the lyrics to one of Radiohead’s most commercially famous songs – ‘No Surprises’ – the crowd let out a ginormous cheer. Any doubt that one of Britain’s most critically-celebrated bands had failed to engage the audience were quashed at that moment. It seemed to inflate lead singer Thom Yorke’s confidence. At the end of the song he said, simply, “See you later, Theresa. Just shut the door on your way out.”
A huge laugh from the immeasurably-sized crowd was followed by a louder cheer. Yorke clearly knew his audience and knew a left-wing statement was a safe bet.
But the setlist was anything but a safe bet.
Confidently appearing on stage to the piano theme from ‘Daydreaming’, they launched into a set made primarily of OK Computer album tracks and singles lifted from their more recent releases.
It was reassuring to see how many people were able to sing along to the likes of ‘Bloom’, ‘Weird Fishes’ and ‘You and Whose Army?”.
It was only when they launched into ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ did they start to mine what would be considered their more mainstream songs, and the patient crowd were rewarded an eight-song, two-part encore that featured a handful of crowd-pleasers. Or, the most crowd-pleasing Radiohead have ever done. ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, a blasting ‘Paranoid Android’ and an extra crunchy ‘Creep’ ensured the set would live on in memory as one that walked the line between the awkwardly obscure and pleasingly familiar.
It was a great snapshot of one of the greatest bands to grace our planet, and the set is up there with the best, for this crowd member at least.