“Steve. James. Jeffrey. Paranoid Android.”
From the back of the floor I had no idea what the names meant, but with these words, Thom Yorke introduced one of Radiohead’s biggest hits and the crowd roared. It was the second of two nights at the Prudential Center in New Jersey for the band and they did not take it easy as they went through a 23-song set, mixing it up a little bit from the previous night.
Newer songs, “Identikit” and “Supercollider”, sounded much more spacious with their synths in comparison to the dense sonics from most of the songs off of Kid A. The direction of these tracks might be a herald of the sound of any forthcoming albums or it might have just been a diversion while in the studio working on King of Limbs.
Visible on one of the drum kits and also attached to Yorke’s keyboard stand were Tibetan flags, which I interpreted as both a political statement and a silent tribute to Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch. Back in the late ‘90s, Radiohead participated in the Beastie Boys’ Tibetan Freedom Concerts and the activist spirit still remains strong in this band, whether it be for Tibet or other social causes like climate change. But politics were not the reason to attend, the band was. To make sure they were noticed, above their heads twelve projection screens repositioned themselves depending on the song, with each one (or really a pair) focusing on one of the six musicians on stage.
But finally the show came to an end and Radiohead closed out with “Everything in its Right Place” with an additional abbreviated intro of R.E.M.‘s “The One I Love”—as they had done at Roseland several months prior.
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