I’d like to call this the show that almost wasn’t. I really almost missed out on this phenomenal “dance party”. When the show went on sale in November, I was unable to land tickets. The idea of not being able to see Radiohead literally left me in tears. After my co-worker calmed me down and told me to think positively, (I was at work when I found out I didn’t get tickets) I started to think about ways that I may still be able to see them. After work, I called a well-connected friend of mine and told him of my dilemma. He assured me that he should have no problem getting me one ticket. He told me that I should not be stressed, to just remind him closer to the actual concert date, and he’d handle it. Well, he sure as hell handled it. He came through BIG TIME with not just one, but TWO tickets in a really decent spot in the venue.
So not only did he live up to his word and make my entire year, but he allowed me to pay the favor forward to a friend & classmate who never in a million years expected this from me. It was great. This gift was definitely two-fold. My friend and I met up about 90 minutes before the show so we could find parking and grab a bite to eat. We ended up at Serrano’s on Red River (just a few blocks from the Erwin Center). What a cute little restaurant. It has beautiful seating outside and the inside must have been a house previously. There are so many rooms of seating. You could get lost in here. The food was great, but the service sucked. Lori managed to get our drinks and take our orders. But she never came back to check on us and when we needed change to pay the bill, she never came back. Too bad for her. :p When we finally made it up to the Erwin Center, Other Lives (the opening band) was already playing. It was hard to see exactly, but it appeared that there were about 7 people on the stage. They were multi-instrumentalists playing everything from some kind of horn, keyboards, timpani drum, strings, guitar, glockenspiel, etc. They kinda reminded me of a more melodic Interpol. I actually kind of dug ‘em. I think I’ll be looking into them a bit more. They only played for 30 minutes. I was really disappointed that we didn’t get there earlier to hear their whole set. Damn that Lori lady!! There was about a 40 minute lapse before Radiohead came on. I was so very excited. Neither my friend nor I had ever seen them, so this was going to be life changing for both of us. And oh, yeah it was. I’ve liked Radiohead for about 14 years. That’s a long time to wait to see a band…especially a band as great as this. I’m not gonna get into too many details about what songs they sang exactly, because it was kind of a blur. I was really taken in by Thom Yorke. I never expected this guy to be such a dancing fool. About the third song into the set is when he started jumping around. I found myself giggling with delight. There is seriously nothing better than to see Thom Yorke jammin’!! He has such a fantastic stage presence. The voice, the energy, the sense of humor, the connection to the audience…it all works. The rest of the band is beyond phenomenal. These guys have some of the most complex, layered songs and yet, they were able to translate them beautifully live. They glided effortlessly from their electronic stuff to the earlier rock inflected songs to simple piano and guitar styling. I was so blown away. There were moments of pure joy during the show, just listening to them. They whipped me into a frenzy like no other. Some of their songs take you higher and higher and higher until you cannot even stand it and then those guitars come down and you just need to scream. And that’s what I did… I screamed!!! Some of the highlights: FOUR drummers banging away on “There There”, the build-up of “Lotus Flower”, the layered guitars in “Reckoner”, the starkly beautiful, not-yet-released “These Are My Twisted Words”, and the show-stopping last song “Paranoid Android”. They played songs from every album (except their first two), they debuted new songs, they entertained us for two hours, and they did TWO encores. All in all, that is not a bad night with Radiohead. In fact, it’s one of the best nights I’ve enjoyed in music…EVER!!!