I was planning this post last week but it seems even more pertinent today after reading about Matt’s experience at Bonnaroo a couple weeks ago. Bonnaroo was Matt’s (a big Radiohead fan) first Radiohead show and his reflections on the show reminded me a lot of how I felt after I first saw the band in 1998 in Vancouver. Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest show ever but I still left that gig at the Pacific Coliseum knowing that music was going to be a bit different for me now.
The gig took place on April 6 towards the end of the OK Computer tour. Thom Yorke was not in a very good mood that night. Midway through show opener Airbag, Thom walked off stage…or almost. Ed O’Brien stopped him just before he left the stage, they spoke briefly and Thom went back to his guitar…looking pissed. Ed then spoke to the crowd informing us that they didn’t want any moshing and pushing as people along the rail were getting hurt. Just a couple minutes into my first Radiohead show and it very nearly ended.
The rest of the show went well though in looking at setlists of the shows before and after the Vancouver gig I can say Vancouver’s setlist was definitely lacking, likely due to the incident at the beginning of the show. Banana Co., Polythelene, How to Disappear Completely, The Trickster…all were played on the tour but not in Vancouver. Regardless I left the show enthralled by a live experience I would never forget.
Eight years later (and 16 Radiohead shows later) I find myself packing for a trip back home to Vancouver via Los Angeles where I will see the last two shows of Radiohead’s current North American tour. I certainly have not forgotten that show in 1998 and I’m pretty sure I owe Ed O’Brien a huge thanks. Had Thom left the stage that night who knows how I’d feel about Radiohead today.
Luckily the show was recorded…LINKS REMOVED. I’ve also included a few mp3s from the show below so you can hear what it sounds like. Make sure you check out Ed’s lecture to the crowd if nothing else. It’s not often you hear him speak up at shows!
Live in Vancouver
April 6, 1998
Climbing Up the Walls
Subterranean Homesick Alien
My Iron Lung
Talk Show Host
Fake Plastic Trees
Since I’m going on a little vacation for a while posting here may be sporadic though I will write a review (hopefully with some photos if I can sneak my camera in) after the shows at the Greek Theatre in L.A.
And remember Radiohead, PLAY A REMINDER IN LOS ANGELES!