Radiohead at the Roundhouse review: The most intimate concert in ten yearsCultureMusicLive music
When Radiohead played two concerts at the massive O2 Arena in 2012 it felt as though it was finally possible to see them in a proper auditorium. In some way those shows had an intimate feel compared to the festival, park and stadium dates of the past decade, save for some inaccessible competition-only performances at the BBC theatre and 93 Feet East. Exactly ten years after their back-to-back Hammersmith Apollo gigs, Thom Yorke’s band comes to London with a three-date residency at the Roundhouse.
Fans couldn’t hope for a better venue to enjoy the intricate, mind-boggling melodies of the Oxford band. The show kicks off as a live performance of their latest record, A Moon Shaped Pool. They lead with album opener – and first single – Burn the Witch, a disturbing depiction of a witch hunt supported by obsessive and eerie col legno strings; the next four songs faithfully respect the tracklist, reaching a climax with Full Stop when Yorke dances as he plays a handheld controller.
There’s perfect symmetry between Radiohead and their adoring public, who respond to the trance-inducing moves of the frontman like volunteers in a hypnotic experiment. The state of oblivion culminates with the compulsive beats and strobe lights of Idioteque, driven by the song’s iconic synth sound. Yorke then invites the audience to stay with them tonight “until they play everything”.
The 25-track setlist covers most of their discography, from the ethereal falsetto on Reckoner to the groundbreaking soundscape of Everything in Its Right Place and the explosiveness of 2+2=5. But there’s more than that, there’s the return to the indie rock roots with Planet Telex and My Iron Lung, and the avant-garde feel of Nude and Separator.
It’s a complete show: it finally includes more of the well-known songs that made Radiohead the ultimate band for alt-rock fiends. Noel Gallagher once said “If Thom Yorke s**t into a light bulb and started blowing it like an empty beer bottle it’d probably get 9 out of 10”. Perhaps it’s true, but it’d nevertheless be good s**t.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina (except cover Daniele Dalledonne)
For further information about Radiohead and future event visit here.
Watch the video for Daydreaming here: