After a few hours sleep (damn you Mario Kart Wii!), we trekked down to the White River Amphitheater in Auburn – just south of Seattle – to see Radiohead. Again. (Embarrassingly, my 21st Radiohead show.) Like the previous night in Vancouver the weather wasn’t great but we had pit tickets which meant we would be dry unlike the plebs up on the lawn. Poor, soggy bastards.
Radiohead mixed up the set a lot from the previous day – in fact, they played ten songs they didn’t the night before. And some of these songs (Dollars and Cents, Climbing Up The Walls, The Gloaming) are really dark and bassy which meant that last night’s gig had a distinct foreboding feel. It made for a great vibe all night.
The gig wasn’t all darkness though. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night came about halfway through the set when Thom and Jonny played Faust Arp. During the song Thom messed up the words, tried to get back on track and then lost it again. So the pair quickly dove into a brief cover of Neil Young’s Tell Me Why…which Thom didn’t know the words to. Phil then popped out from the side of the stage and chucked a bit of money down for the buskers…the crowd loved it. Thom and Jonny eventually got back on track and finished the song. I managed to get it all on video.
Thanks to the inclusion of Lucky and Street Spirit I was able to enjoy some of my favourite little moments at Radiohead gigs: the lights hitting the crowd during Lucky and Jonny multi-tasking during Street Spirit. In fact, every time I see Lucky live I end up thinking that it may in fact be the perfect Radiohead song. I know there are more obvious choices…but I thought it again last night.
Nude was another highlight…Thom’s vocal was absolutely perfect and he held that note so beautifully; more memorable than the performance in Vancouver. Jigsaw was great again…but didn’t have quite the power it did the night before. And Pyramid Song might have been performed better last night than I have ever seen it before. Jonny’s cello bow work on his guitar is getting frighteningly precise.
Again, the first encore provided some absolute highlights. How To Disappear Completely was a bit of a surprise to kicks things off but it was beautiful and Idioteque was trotted out again after being voted off the island by the Vancouver crowd the night before. Thom danced up a storm (which he did during The Gloaming as well).
Then things got a bit special as the band played In Limbo for the first time since 2003 complete with Nigel Godrich on tambourine. It’s not my favourite song (and I probably would have preferred Wolf At the Door which was originally on the setlist) but I’m glad I got to see it. Nigel! Then Street Spirit got an airing which sent the reverent crowd into further joyful reverence.
When the band returned for the second encore Thom, who had been virtually silent all night, dedicated You And Whose Army? to anyone who was in Seattle during the WTO Battle In Seattle in 1999. The show then ended with No Surprises and Everything In Its Right Place. I was too close to notice the night before, but the lights during EIIRP actually spell out the lyrics as the song progresses. Very cool.
Once again I was blown away by the lighting. A number of the songs that I didn’t see in Vancouver had absolutely mental lighting, Dollars and Cents and The Gloaming in particular. I really hope the band have filmed an entire gig for a DVD as it would be a shame if this stage design isn’t recorded for posterity (other than on YouTube).
All in all it was an impressive gig. The crowd were great (quiet!), the venue was well organized, and I stayed dry…take notes Vancouver! Hopefully it won’t be another two years before I see the band again but it very likely could be longer. We’ll see.
Setlist (links take you to my videos from the gig)
All I Need
Talk Show Host
The National Anthem
Faust Arp/Tell Me Why
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Climbing Up The Walls
Dollars and Cents
How to Disappear Completely
You And Whose Army?
Everything In Its Right Place
I uploaded a ton of photos here.
It was a long but very enjoyable two days. I have some friends who I only ever see at Radiohead gigs (it’s what happens when you see so many) and it was great catching up with all of them the past couple days. And I met some great new people as well. But that drive home last night sucked…getting home at 4am blows. I am old.
I neglected to mention Liars in my review of the Vancouver. I’m actually a pretty big Liars fan so I was pretty excited to see them both nights as well (Radiohead have a knack for picking great support acts). They played pretty similar sets both nights playing a relatively equal amount of material from their last three records. Angus was a lot more…silly than he was when I saw them in Sydney a couple years ago. While they may have alienated certain segments of the crowd, I’m sure lots of people left the gigs as Liars converts.
At Ease has some commentary as part of the setlist thanks to Juliette.
The band have also uploaded a little video from the Auburn gig last night.
There are also already two different recordings from the gig. I have yet to download either but the one Dime sounds really, really great: Dime, Etree.