Radiohead at Roseland Ballroom [9/28/11]

Posted on: September 29th, 2011 at 2:04 pm by

In which we scored tickets, attended, and now review last night’s sold out Radiohead show at Roseland Ballroom.  Many thanks to guest writers Marisa S. and Kevin H. for the reporting.

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After one week’s notice and a city’s worth of disappointed fans that could not score tickets, Radiohead hit the stage for their first of two nights of shows at the Roseland Ballroom yesterday.

If you’re headed to the show tonight, keep in mind that fans begin to queue very early (naturally) and there are two different lines, one for Ticketmaster folks and another for people who scored tickets in the presale on Radiohead’s W.A.S.T.E. website. The line was roughly an hour wait, wrapping around the entire block of 52nd and 53rd streets.

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Once inside, despite the crowded conditions, fans were all on the same page: uber-psyched to see Radiohead. No one seemed to flinch when Edward Norton and Chris Rock headed up to the bar together, or when Cameron Diaz strolled by. The crowed was electric and the band was loose from the opening notes of the first song, “Bloom.” As with Radiohead’s performances earlier in the week on “From the Basement,” “SNL” and “The Colbert Report,” Portishead’s drummer Clive Deamer was playing with the band.

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The set focused on Radiohead’s newer material and was largely from King of Limbs and In Rainbows, though earlier favorites were played as well. One highlight was what appeared to be homage to REM’s recent split. Thom Yorke sang and recorded a few bars of “The One I Love” for the vocal digitizing that traditionally begins “Everything In Its Right Place.” Another standout moment was the last song of the initial set when Radiohead lost their place playing “Reckoner.” They quickly recovered and finished the song out with grace.

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One of the most incredible moments was at the end of the first encore. Supposedly the band had only planned to play one encore. Adding some credence to the idea of an unplanned encore is the fact that Clive Deamer did not come back out and play the encore with the rest of the band. Regardless, the crowd’s energy was simply undeniable, and Radiohead reappeared to play another two songs, Street Spirit (Fade Out) and Nude.

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As a fan, after having to jump through so many hoops and enduring the torture of securing tickets to this show, the band absolutely delivered. It was all worth it. This band was alive with energy not seen from them on full tours. It was simply an epic performance from a set of truly gifted musicians that those lucky enough to see won’t soon forget.

Little by Little
Weird Fishes/Arpeggie
Subterranean Homesick Alien
All I Need
Everything in its Right Place (with REM interlude “The One I Love”)
Lotus Flower
15 Step
Daily Mail

1st Encore
Give Up the Ghost
The National Anthem
Morning Mr. Magpie

2nd Encore
Street Spirit (Fade Out)

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