This feature originally ran in late January. Radiohead’s 2016 tour begins on Friday.
Radiohead is famously restless in the studio: building songs up, stripping them down, standing every idea on its head in endless permutations. The great appeal of the live shows, however, isn’t witnessing this perfectionism brought to life; it’s not the hits; it’s not the explosive chemistry of this era’s strangest arena rock band; it’s not even Thom Yorke’s twitchy dad-dancing — although any of these alone might be worth the price of admission. No, the joy of a Radiohead concert is that Radiohead have taken their meticulously arranged discography and started over from the beginning. It’s the philosophy that albums and live shows are very different and the perfect arrangement of a song depends on how the audience is hearing it. That, and other details, including the band’s mood.
Radiohead hasn’t brought their ever-shifting setlists on tour since 2012, and fans are looking forward to hearing more than just their new favorites from A Moon Shaped Pool. Now entering their third decade together, they have nine studio records under the belt along with an engrossing collection of B-sides, all of which are always changing, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically, like the men who made them. Will that fiery rock song stay a rock song? Will the ballad that always makes you cry have you up and dancing? Will they play your favorite B-side or anything written before Kid A? Our writers weigh in on the songs from the band’s catalog that have us crossing our fingers.
What songs are you absolutely dying to hear? Let us know in the comments section below!