Radiohead @ Rough Trade East...well 93 Feet East
What a day!
My last 24 hours of freedom before starting a new job changed from a relaxed day in to a frustrated but extremely exciting day in East London in a moment when DrownedInSound announced the gig of a lifetime at midday, Radiohead at Rough Trade East! I started queuing at 2 and managed to get a wristband. The way i felt must have been the way Charlie felt when he found his golden ticket, i was so excited. That was at 6 but it wouldn't be until 10.20, after a venue change due to security reason, a mass rush to the new venue and some more anxious waiting, until me and the 200/250 other ultra-lucky souls were crammed into 93 Feet East and watched Thom, Ed, Jonny, Colin and Phil take to the tiny stage. The reaction of the crowd was electric, probably a release of frustrated energy from the chaotic day and a gasp of relief that the moment had actually arrived.
From the first glitchy beats of 15 Steps, the band oozed a confidence and an enthusiasm that made the track blisteringly good. The fact that they hadn't taken to a stage together since August 2006 didn't show one bit as every part was perfectly in place, the band looked so happy to be there. They played the rest of In Rainbows in full and in order. Bodysnatchers' insistent riff made the already fervent crowd dance and shake even more passionately but it wasn't until Nude that the reality of the situation really struck me. I was watching Radiohead!
Thom Yorke's vocal performance was immense. Nude showcased this in all its stripped down, lounging beauty, especially when he hits that long note at the end of the line "For what your dirty mind is thinking" i was left gasping and the silence was extraordinary. The rest of the main set carried on in this fashion, eye-goggling and mind-blowing, and it really laid out how strong an album In Rainbows is. Another highlight was the recently released Jigsaw Falls Into Place which i perceived as the weakest track on the album but live it really took off, storming its way to the end of the set before everything relaxed with Videotape.
After that i could really want anymore but the band came back on for an encore. Initially just Thom, who performed a solo version of Up On The Ladder, and then joined by the others for a few more. First came You And Whose Army? from Amnesiac to the general elation of the crowd - i'm not a fan of Amnesiac so wasn't that bothered - but following that was The National Anthem and its stomping bassline was enough to send mass of fans at the front, back and sides crazy. Finishing with the dual attack of My Iron Lung and The Bends just finished me off, i was too happy. The eight hours of queuing in the cold, the chaos of the venue change, the queue jumpers and the frustration of not knowing what was going on earlier in the day were all worth it, this was a performance so powerful and euphoric that anyone who was there will remember it forever and one that alot more people will say they saw. I'm just happy i've got a wristband to prove it.
Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling In Place
Radiohead - The National Anthem
To see more photos from the gig, check out my flickr
To watch the gig itself, check out this youtube accoun