Photos by Merideth C. & review by Dave G.
When Radiohead last played Detroit on August 15, 1997, their transformative album “OK Computer” had only been out for a little more than a month. It was a defining time for Radiohead as they moved away from their guitar-driven, soul-searching alternative rock sound to a more experimental, electronic influenced one. No one at that show in 1997 could have known it would be the last time they’d have the chance to see Radiohead anywhere in Michigan for 15 years.
During those 15 years, Radiohead put out 5 albums, won 3 Grammy Awards, and solidified themselves as one of the greatest bands of our generation. With a sold out crowd at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Radiohead’s 23-song return to the Motor City was more than a concert; it was a religious experience.
Playing a few songs from almost all of their albums, the largest number came from Radiohead’s latest album “The King of Limbs.” Even so, the crowd favorites were from “OK Computer,” including “Climbing Up the Walls,” “Exit Music (For a Film),” “Paranoid Android,” and “Karma Police.” Lead singer Thom Yorke’s only acknowledgment of the bands absence came during “Karma Police” during the set’s second encore. The only absent material, and maybe the only disappointment of the night, was from the band’s pre-OK Computer work.
Yorke was his typical self, dancing and twirling around the stage while multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood was enjoyably brooding in the way that only he can. The rest of the band played their hearts out through a set that rarely slowed down or took a break.
There really was something special about this show. It wasn’t just Radiohead’s absence. It wasn’t just the music or the lights. Radiohead gave its fans something indescribable. If you’ve never been to a Radiohead show, you can’t possibly understand. Please, promise me that if you missed it this time, you won’t again! I just hope for your sake that we don’t have to wait another 15 years for the chance. I hope Radiohead felt the same magic that I did. If so, I know they’ll be back soon.
Download songs from this set list by clicking the iTunes icon!
- There There
- Kid A
- Morning Mr. Magpie
- The Gloaming
- I Might Be Wrong
- Pyramid Song
- Climbing Up the Walls
- Lotus Flower
- Paranoid Android
- Little by Little
- Idioteque Encore 1:
- Exit Music (For a Film)
- Ful Stop (New, unreleased song)
- Reckoner Encore 2:
- Give Up the Ghost
- Karma Police
- Everything in Its Right Place