Photo by Nate Slevin
Last night at Manhattan’s Roseland Ballroom, Radiohead performed their first of two surprise, last minute gigs for an intimate crowd of just over 3,000 fans blessed with incredible luck. Aside from the novelty and inherent specialness involved with seeing a band that is one of the world’s biggest and probably its best, the first night at Roseland Ballroom unveiled a wide range of new material as road-ready
Recently, Radiohead gave a not-so-secret performance at Glastonbury with second drummer Clive Deamer in tow. Focusing largely on material from The King of Limbs, the Glastonbury set came across as an experiment in developing the live identities of the new material. Three month and a few television performances later, the songs feel fully realized.
The spirit of Atoms for Peace still lingered, with “Little by Little” and “Staircase” enjoyng irresistibly funky grooves. Currently unreleased, “Staircase” has come a long way since its debut at Roseland last year. The formerly solo haunter made the crowd shake their exhausted bodies. Show-stopper “The Daily Mail” was the kind of forceful piano-driven rocker/ballad hybrid that Coldplay often attempts but rarely accomplishs.
Photo by Nate Slevin
Standing out among the “classic fare” was an ultra-rare performance of “Subterranean Homesick Alien”, but more recent selections from In Rainbows proved just as popular. “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” and “All I Need” have become surprising singalongs, with “15 Step” and “Bodysnatchers” offering energetic thrills.
After a brief three song encore, the crowd lights came on and music chimed over the PA. Nobody at Roseland was having a short-for-Radiohead 18 song set (plus one R.E.M. teaser), so the band resurfaced even as the crew began dismantling and distributing setlist souvenirs. Giving a rare unplanned encore, Radiohead sent everyone home overwhelmed with emotion via “Street Spirit (Fade Out) and “Nude”.
If last night at Roseland was any indication, then Radiohead is at last ready to properly tour The King of Limbs. Additionally, it is possible the forward-thinking band is tired of their older songs, with cuts from their first five albums comprising just one fourth of the entire set. Per long-standing tradition, the songs of Radiohead continue to shine brightest on the stage.
Little By Little
Subterranean Homesick Alien
All I Need
Everything In Its Right Place (with “The One I Love” intro)
The Daily Mail
Give Up The Ghost
The National Anthem
Morning Mr Magpie
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Gallery by Nate Slevin