July 29, 2018
Last Monday night Radiohead took the stage in Columbus, OH for the first time in the bands career. They captivated The Schottenstein Center capacity crowd through its entire two hours and fifteen-minute set, which included selections that spanned from each of the bands last seven albums. Going to see Radiohead live is nothing short of an experience, outside a few set staples, you never know exactly what the six-piece will break out or how they will recreate the songs live.
Early on in the 25-song set, the band showed just how they can perfectly transition from hard hitting electronic-style with “Ful Stop” to a swelling acoustic-driven song with “How To Disappear Completely.” Later on in the evening when they got to what was their biggest ‘hit’ of the evening with “Iditoteque” the band completely changed the sound of the song as everyone knows it but it still had the same feel of the recording, which was the norm throughout the show. One can tell that the band cares about their craft and their sound both in studio and live. Each of the six members of the band are dedicated to this as they each play different instruments and tinker with different sounds, samples and loops. The band played a special homage to the Ohio-crowd by including a clip of Cleveland Indian’s legendary radio broadcaster, Tom Hamilton into the intro to “The National Anthem.”
While it’s hard to say if any two Radiohead show are exactly identical, it felt as if the band and their crew did not miss a single beat (even when they played “Wolf at the Door” for the first time in six years). The production was nothing sure of spectacular – an egg shaped screen that stretched the length of the stage kept the focus on all six members simultaneously. The lights were hard and pulsating which felt as a perfect complement to songs like “Jigsaw Falling into Place.” The show inside of a 19,000 capacity arena never felt like it was something bigger than a theater, no matter how big and sprawling the bands sound really is.
Radiohead is currently winding down touring in support of its latest release, 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool but there are few bands who live up to the price of ticket admission and help you remember, as Thom said: “Despite everything, one must remain optimistic.”
Jonny Greenwood’s side-project Junun opened the show with an all too brief 30 minute.
Review by Troy Smith