Saturday, August 23, 2008

Recovering From Radiohead

One of the highlights of my summer was seeing Radiohead play last night in Golden Gate Park at the OutsideLands music and arts festival. It was more even more fun than we thought it would be. This was the first big rock concert we'd all gone to together so we weren't sure how it would go.
We got there early and checked out all the fun art stuff before the music began. Microsoft had a cool tent with lots of stuff to do, we flopped on the cushy bean bags for a while.
Dell had an artist dome tent which had been decorated by the artist who you see here painting in orange.
He also designs skateboards and surfboards as well as laptop skins.
We also got to make some free mix-tapes, pins and get airbrush tattoos.
Luckily there was time to buy cheap sunglasses!
2 for $10 baby!
Finally it was time for some music, we first saw Steel Pulse, but left after a few songs as the pot smoke was too much for us. Bleah! Besides, as Zach put it, most reggae songs sound pretty much the same after a while.
Over at another stage we caught the end of Cold War Kids, very groovy, rockin' and fun.
We were getting excited because next up was Beck!
He was great and played all our favorites old and new and a Bob Dylan song that he said he'd just recorded for a new tribute album.
Finally it was time for the final show as night fell, Radiohead! All these pictures were taken by Zach as he had the camera when we got separated (oops!) Just a bit more than nerve-wracking,but we had to just trust that they were ok and could find our pre-arranged meeting spot. Texts and phonecalls weren't going through because thousands of the festival-goers were doing the same.
It was shocking, but the sound completely cut out twice during the middle of two songs. They kept playing on, and apologized. Very weird! It was like someone had just pulled the plug.
Just when you thought the light show couldn't be more magnificent, then they'd do something new and the whole crowd would gasp in amazement.
During the slow,sad quite mournful solo piano intro to one of the songs, all the screens went blank just showing one super closeup of Thom Yorke(the lead singer), and it was absurd. He must have caught a glimpse of the monitor or something, becase all of a sudden, he giggled, laughed and it sounded like he fell off his stool,qnd stopped playing. It was a total crack-up, the crowd loved it, and then he started the song over, continuing on as if nothing had happened.
A close-up of one of the enormous screens that were on either side of the stage. Usually these screens were split into four camera views of the different musicians doing their thing.
I feel transformed and lifted up outside of myself after experiencing Radiohead's music live along with thousands of others. Or maybe that was just due to having an awful head cold and taking lots of decongestants. They are a band that makes music that is intense, complicated, challenging and altogether just plain awesome. It isn't easily accessible, or radio-friendly music, so they aren't maybe as popular as some other bands out there (*koff*coldplay*koff*), but I'm glad that I finally got to see them play live.

1 comment:

Laume said...

My friend and her adult daughter went to see some bands this weekend at this festival. I couldn't quite figure out what sort of festival it was - music, obviously, but also art? Green? My friend, who leans towards the conservative side, was worried they were going to be surrounded by "earth worshippers". LOL.