Radiohead | 05.05.08 | Florida

Words & Images by: Drew Gerlach

Radiohead :: 05.05.08 :: Cruzan Amphitheatre :: West Palm Beach, FL

Radiohead :: 05.05 :: Florida
Billed as the "Best Live Rock Band" by various publications, the anticipation for Radiohead's long awaited tour reached fever pitch in sunny West Palm Beach on Monday night. Throughout the day people from all walks of life descended upon the Cruzan Amphitheatre and the South Florida fairgrounds mellowed out, liquored up (thanks to Cinco De Mayo), appreciative that they would be the first to witness the band's first full fledged tour since 2003 (not counting their ten city run through North America in 2006). There was a large cross section of South Florida's population in attendance with everyone from hipsters to frat/sorority types to common hippies smoking bowls and young yuppies sipping on wine in VIP boxes. Though from different backgrounds, the crowd was extremely amicable. No matter where you turned inside the arena or parking lots, people shared beer, food and conversation, savoring one another's company in the pre-show glow.

As the lights dimmed at 9 p.m., Radiohead ventured into an abyss of darkness. Thom Yorke greeted the maximum capacity audience with a simple "Good evening." Then the first synth notes and mangled beats enveloped as the group took the stage set with large hanging columns that emitted various colored lights throughout each song. Having seen U2 and other stadium bands, no words could do Radiohead's light show justice, and even pictures only share half the story. The music surged and rolled with every crescendo and lull. Along with these huge light columns, there was a giant video screen that focused on each member, providing various angles and artistic shots as they worked through each piece. Also of note, Yorke acknowledged and introduced two Tibetan flags draping instruments and dropped in a few words about Tibet's human rights struggles.

Highlights from the main set included a grungy, riff filled "Bodysnatchers" that sounded more like it came off the band's raw 1993 debut Pablo Honey, as opposed to their latest offering. For most fans, outside of the Internet, it was their first chance to hear the new cuts from In Rainbows live. Most came off seamlessly and were well received. On a lighter note, Radiohead proved they too could be human, halting "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" halfway through and then continuing after a few seconds of corrections. Whether it was because Yorke, a renowned perfectionist, looked visibly uncomfortable without a guitar or just first night confusion, it didn't matter to the crowd, who loudly cheered both times when they stopped. After completion, Yorke murmured facetiously, "I think we need more practice."

Radiohead :: 05.05 :: Florida
The crowd reached its peak for the main set when the electronic beats for "Idioteque" enshrouded us and coerced over 15,000 fans to sway in unison. The magnetism of the rhythm brought Yorke to awkward spasms fed by the pure ecstasy of the moment. The field - an orgy of humanity of different races, upbringings, social levels, religions and cliques, all feeling the moment and forgetting everything else - flowed in ceaseless synch. It was truly breathtaking.

The first encore brought out quality versions of Radiohead stalwarts "Optimistic" and "Just," then pushed into the next gear with a beautiful, serene version of "Faust Arp" with Yorke and Greenwood playing an acoustic guitar duet, which brought about a deeper intimacy often lacking in large amphitheater venues. They finished off their first encore with a special morsel, "Bangers & Mash," an In Rainbows disc two cut that most revelers hadn't heard before this evening. Prior to the song, Yorke, seeming at ease, opened up about a three-day holiday on Miami Beach earlier in the week and cracked a joke about "reconstruction [plastic surgery]" and being proud to be "pale, white and English".

Their second encore brought about the highlight and climax of the show, a haunting, warm version of "House of Cards." With the columns of light emitting a soft blue haze that gave the band a ghostly glow, Yorke's falsetto cooing literally brought rain from the heavens. Adding to the ambiance of the moment was the crowd hunkering together and clapping (something you just don't see much in South Florida) through the majority of the song. Radiohead finished off a nearly two-hour set with a smooth version of "Street Spirit." When the house lights slowly began to rise, the crowd was left questioning "Was that it?" greedily coveting more.

"The National Anthem" 5/5/08 W Palm Beach FL

05.05.08 :: Cruzan Amphitheatre :: West Palm Beach, FL
All I Need, Bodysnatchers, There There, Reckoner, The Gloaming, Morning Bell, Nude, How to Disappear Completely, 15 Steps, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, Idioteque, Bulletproof... I Wish I Was, Where I End and You Begin, Airbag, Everything In It's Right Place, National Anthem, Videotape
Encore: Optimistic, Just, Faust Arp, Exit Music, Bangers & Mash
Second Encore: House of Cards, Street Spirit

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RothburyWithCheese star Wed 5/7/2008 01:46PM
Show -5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Jason Woodside Wed 5/7/2008 02:15PM
+10 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Jason Woodside



soulink starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/7/2008 02:29PM
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I highly suggest watching that video. In the words of Keanu Reeves... WHOA.

foadser starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/7/2008 02:30PM
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Cant believe someone covered a show in West Palm. I thought/think everyone here was /is an idiot. Way to go. Nice write up too.

thecurtainhasclosed Wed 5/7/2008 02:32PM
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i'll be seeing the last stop in Dallas, shits is going to be amazing!

Conjugal Burning starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/7/2008 02:35PM
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Conjugal Burning

nice setlist, and those lights are nuts!

MyFavBandIsTheBestYoursSucks starstarstarstar Wed 5/7/2008 02:55PM
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Bonnaroo to Rothbury to ACL, your such a saucy little messageboard revolutionary..... you may be a genius??

Looks like a fun show!

steveanderson81 Wed 5/7/2008 02:56PM
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These guys are brilliant. Anyone wanna argue that can suck my left nut.

Muffinman1 Wed 5/7/2008 03:06PM
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I can't wait for sunday in VA, it's gonna be sick. Great lights, great setlist, great band!

Jason Woodside Wed 5/7/2008 03:12PM
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Jason Woodside

i was at tampa last night. it was the best show of my life, no exaggeration. the light show made me feel like i was tripping face even though i was sober..err...not tripping face. last nights setlist was very similar to west palm's. im also going to atl and charlotte. best band in the world.

breckenridgejam starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/7/2008 04:01PM
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I wonder how many people had siezures due to there light show?

Dobbers starstarstarstar Wed 5/7/2008 04:48PM
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A lot of things took me by surprise Monday night, not least of which was how great the crowd really seemed to be. Orignally from the Alpine Valley area, I wasn't sure what to expect... but the fans really came out. Werent too many morons holding up their cellphones. All in all, great show... can't wait to see em at lolla and two nights later in Indy

FreshFlavor starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/7/2008 07:33PM
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Damn RadioHead looks like he's trying to rival Daft Punk's light show. I dont think thats possible, but it definitely looks like a blast. I'll see you in All Points West.

moejoerisin Wed 5/7/2008 10:12PM
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not that it needs to be said, but these guys are one of the best bands of our time. that video looks crazy.

achalsey Wed 5/7/2008 10:20PM
Show -11 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
MoeString Wed 5/7/2008 10:57PM
Show -13 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Muffinman1 Thu 5/8/2008 03:41AM
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Moe String, TOOL is my favorite band ever, but Radiohead is 2nd and they don't suck, they kick major fucking ass. And I can't wait to finally experience a live show from them on sunday. But your right, TOOL is the shit!!!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/8/2008 05:03AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

cool lighting scheme.

Jason Woodside Thu 5/8/2008 06:02AM
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Jason Woodside

"Seriously, Radiohead? I didn't really realize there were so many emo fans on jambase. People always argue that its such a "smart" band, smart people know that radiohead is good, I would love to have someone elaborate on that. Yorke is way too whiny; light shows don't make up for an average compilation of chords(even though that seems to happen far too often)."

wow dude you are seriously misinformed here. first of all they are not emo. at all. they may have an influence on emo, but they are not emo. Thom Yorke has pipes unlike anyone on the planet. his voice may seem whiny to an untrained ear but if you can listen closely you can hear just how amazing his voice is. he hits such high notes so cleanly and can sustain them forever.

too many people judge radiohead based on one or two songs they dont like (creep) wothout giving them a good listen and they write them off. this is dumb. their "average" chord compilations?!?!?!?! dude, seriously do your homework before bashing a band. they have music far more intricate than any band around now. they craft their songs so thoroughly, with so much going on in the music that it takes a few listens to really understand how good these songs are. that is why radiohead is music for smart people, achalsey. They put more thought into a single second of music than most jambands put into anything. tool is the shit but radiohead is better, radiohead is the best band in the world.

if you want to hear just how intricate the stuff really is at the core listen to christopher o'riley's piano adaptations of the songs. here the music is stripped down, no engineering, just the notes. it is clear how intricate the music is.

not to mention how radiohead is influenced by nearly all types of music yet they work it into their sound, not a rip off of other bands.

i could list more reasons why radiohead was smart music, achalsey, but i have some more radiohead shows to go to. have fun at the mindless jam factories of pgroove or particle

i13tony Thu 5/8/2008 07:12AM
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Tampa show was amazing. I had decent seats, but the view and sound were much better from the lawn. Two specific light tricks that real stood out: Green lights didn't really show up until the encore. They were stunning. Also, at one point, they painted those sticks with lights to resemble crystal blue icicles melting upward. Very impressive, indeed.

1radioheader starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/8/2008 07:27AM
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I agree with every word you said, the craftsmanship and intricate patterns of their music is impresive to say the least. Beyond that they impact me emotionally (not emo) like no other band I've ever heard. .. . . For other excellent adaptations of their music you said check out the string quartet's tribute to Radiohead, it is incredible (their homage to Tool is also quite good), I pop it on for some dinnertime classical music. . . . .. Everyone enjoy the SHOWS (I know i will. . . . .)

Robusto Thu 5/8/2008 07:28AM
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Was in WPN and Tampa. Totally bad ass. Read that the boys have already reserved studio time for after this tour. RH fans know that doesn't really mean anything though. Next album could be for a really long time.

Robusto Thu 5/8/2008 07:29AM
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WPB, of course.

Lenox Thu 5/8/2008 08:07AM
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wilson021 starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/8/2008 08:48AM
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Caught the show in tampa the night after west palm. IT was SICK. I am a radiohead fan, and they met all my expectations.

MidnightRider13 starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/8/2008 09:35AM
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hey little drummer boy leave pgroove and particle out of this!

I'm just kidding, in terms of pre-performance composition, you're right, radiohead puts far more into their music than most jambands. Except for phish. and umphrey's. but yeah, more intricate composition than most jambands. I see that. Kid A is a masterpiece. Like, fo rizzle, no exagerizzle.

Mountain_Icculus starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/8/2008 10:07AM
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Those lights look Redonkulous...haha can't wait for Toronto!

moejoerisin Thu 5/8/2008 10:08AM
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so any music that doesn't involve 20 minute guitar wanks is officially emo, according to half the people who post on this site.

gmoo Thu 5/8/2008 11:39AM
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Wow those lights are incredible. Looks like a ridiculous show. I just wish there music was more inspirational/less depressing to me.

whodoyoudo Thu 5/8/2008 11:53AM
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stupid people dont get radiohead

ha ha ha h a

guerilladubber Thu 5/8/2008 12:11PM
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See you there DrummerBoy... let's just keep it between us 'smart people' hehehe.

Brooklynn Thu 5/8/2008 01:07PM
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radiohead emo... ha, that gave me the chuckles, show looks awesome, hope i get to catch one

Lord-K. Thu 5/8/2008 01:08PM
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St. Louis this Wednesday...this video just put me over the edge with anticipation!

bobonoho Thu 5/8/2008 01:26PM
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i was there. absolutely amazing. got a free ticket by playing rock band in the parking lot after going there with a sign that said "will trade clothes off back, soul, or $1.93 for ticket!!" Well worth the risk of not getting in.

Rainking04 Thu 5/8/2008 03:28PM
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"they have music far more intricate than any band around now"

"They put more thought into a single second of music than most jambands put into anything"

don't get me wrong, I love radiohead, but how can people on here seriously support such hyperbolic, misinformed statements as these? If you are so interested in people putting thought into what they do, why don't you think about what you post and actually relate their musicicianship/artistry in reasonable terms rather than pumping hot air up their ass like so many of their fans do....and what's funny is everyone on here just eats that shit up; yeah sure radiohead is the best band in the world, i mean, that's what people say right? and those are SMART people, too, right?? stfu...

anyway, I wish I could be there tonight...damn finals

rulosa01 starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/8/2008 04:10PM
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"Seriously, Radiohead? I didn't really realize there were so many emo fans on jambase. People always argue that its such a "smart" band, smart people know that radiohead is good, I would love to have someone elaborate on that."

For elaboration just listen to their music. seriously. with your ears and not your ass.

k_witt Thu 5/8/2008 04:36PM
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I will be at the show in August in Indy. Cant wait! Last time I saw them was Bonnaroo '06 and my face melted right into the ground!

theragman starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/8/2008 06:07PM
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hey i was at this show!

Jambase is covering a show i was at!

It was awesome! I only recognized a few songs but i could have chilled up on the hill and listened to that like all night.

Lenox Thu 5/8/2008 08:50PM
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just got back from atl show, was amazing as expected.

Wiretap Studios Fri 5/9/2008 05:48AM
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Wiretap Studios

Going to see them tonight in Charlotte NC! All the videos and reviews so far look awesome. The video was disabled on this page but there were a ton on YouTube yesterday. It was raining, but hopefully it will be a little drier by show time.

Lord-K. starstarstarstarstar Fri 5/9/2008 12:32PM
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I think the term emo is pretty asanine I mean come on isn't all music technically emo? Am I wrong isn't emo just short for emotion? Last time I checked I believe that all music is conveying some kinda of emotion being that it is pretty much the driving force behind music in the first place. People rely too much on music classification from critics and pundits.

cmoore7 starstarstarstarstar Fri 5/9/2008 12:34PM
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Went to the ATL show last night. The fiber optic light prisms/columns were amazing. They are just wide enough to transform into several different patterns(satin sheets, smoke, water, candles). Go see this show. If it is not the most in-demand ticket in the U.S., it will be by Independence Day.

moejoerisin Fri 5/9/2008 03:53PM
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durango - yes, and no. emo music is definitely way different than music made with emotion. it's horribly stoic and calculated, not to mention friggin' lame.. think 'story of the year,' 'fall out boy,' 'panic at the disco,' etc.

Rainking04 Fri 5/9/2008 04:57PM
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yeah but it's still idiotic that that genre even creates nothing but confusion imo, people have gotten so loose with the way they talk about genres now it's just ridiculous, i swear it seems like they come out with new ones every day... it especially sucks when high-paid music critics start dropping all these new terminologies and then they get eaten up by the masses who aren't even sure what they meant in the first place

Lord-K. Fri 5/9/2008 09:21PM
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My point exactly...also after doing some more research on the origin of emo I found this quote which also is great....The difficulty in defining "emo" as a genre may have started at the very beginning. In a 2003 interview by Mark Prindle,[12] Guy Picciotto of Fugazi and Rites of Spring was asked how he felt about "being the creator of the emo genre". He responded: "I don't recognize that attribution. I've never recognized 'emo' as a genre of music. I always thought it was the most retarded term ever. I know there is this generic commonplace that every band that gets labeled with that term hates it. They feel scandalized by it. But honestly, I just thought that all the bands I played in were punk rock bands. The reason I think it's so stupid is that - what, like the Bad Brains weren't emotional? What - they were robots or something? It just doesn't make any sense to me."

Jason Woodside Sun 5/11/2008 04:56PM
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Jason Woodside

atl and charlotte were amazing, now im trying to do about 6 shows on the second leg of the tour. best band in the world hands down. i agree that phish and umphreys rival their compositional skills...maybe thats why they are my favorite jambands. actual music doesn not nees a 20 minute jam to be good, it doesnt even need a 30 second guitar solo

Elemley Sun 5/11/2008 05:56PM
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looks like the shit. radiohead's music is way thick and it moves me as much as any band around today

msd413886669 starstarstarstarstar Mon 5/12/2008 08:29AM
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This show was so amazing! I don't care who wants to hate on Radiohead. They are by far one of the best musical acts of our generation. If you don't like it thats fine. I had the time of my life. The set list was amazing. I can't believe some of the material that was played. It was so sick. Love this band!

Jack Straw Berry starstarstarstar Fri 5/16/2008 09:19PM
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Jack Straw Berry

my band is better than your band...why does radiohead (and I think they are AMAZING) want to be dino rock gods with the spectacle and all? I know it helps the presentation of the music, but aren't they "anti" all that rock god crap?

HoodooVoodoo star Mon 5/19/2008 02:01PM
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since when did having a cool psychedelic light show make a band a "crappy rock god?"

speakeasy2 starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/21/2008 09:26AM
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I'm amazed at how perfect this article is, I didn't think I could put into words the Charlotte show, but this is about it. It's also nice hearing it rained at the west palms show also. Bonnaroo was the best yet I've seen them however it was a breathtaking show. How I wish I could go to Lollapalooza.