Thursday, August 14, 2008

Concert Review: Radiohead (Comcast Center)

Act 1 (The Ride To The Concert): I left my house at 5:40 to pick up Chris. We got on the highway around 5:50. It was truly smooth sailing until about 7:00 when we ran into a huge back-up. I'm not talking about any old back-up, I'm talking about bumper to bumper, no movement for more than an hour kind of jam. As Chris says "the traffic was longer than any soul would expect." It got kind of annoying waiting in the car about two miles away from the venue. Obviously other people thought the same as we saw some guys get out of their car to take a piss in the woods to the right of the breakdown lane. In addition, there were the real pissy types who decided to use the breakdown lane to cut in line. Those bastards...I suggested to Chris something that I never would have envisioned myself doing: getting out of the car and running towards the Comcast Center (which I thought was only about .5-1 mile in front of us, but in reality was more than two). If Chris had known it was that far away, he says he never would have stepped foot out of the car. Well, we said what the hell, got out of the vehicle, and bolted straight ahead. Not a very fast runner (9:30 mile time), I was very impressed by my speed on foot. I could have kept going, but Chris, one not very apt in running either, was out of breath. As Chris says, "It shall be noted that I stopped the running. I couldn't do it anymore; my arms and legs were so tired. Plus Glen almost got hit by the car. There were patrons yelling 'Get off the fucking road', 'what the fuck are you doing' and my favorite 'you guys are crazy' and she said that in a pissed off tone. I saw a lot of people laughing. I just kept running, looking straight and of course backwards to see if cars were coming." "We used the little space we had to dodge them. Like I said Glen almost got hit by one. It was one of the dumbest and yet funniest moments of my life." Apropos, he told me that we should probably ask somebody for a ride because he couldn't run any longer. I was a little hesitant at first, but I realized that if we picked just the right kind of people it wouldn't be that bad of an experience. We lucked out. We jumped into the backseats of the car of Ray and Briana, two college age folk. They said "why are you running? Where are you going?" "We were grossly out of breathe, but still mustered up the energy to quickly reply: TO SEE RADIOHEAD," Chris recounts. They, too, weren't totally accepting of our idea of getting into the car, but Ray said "fine, get in the back." Once we settled ourselves in, Chris recalls Ray saying one of the night's greater lines: "I don't want to get arrested for kidnapping." I was under the impression that they were boyfriend and girlfriend, but oh no. Briana published a classified on Craig's List asking for a two way ride to the Radiohead concert in Mansfield. Ray, sick of driving alone, did a search on google for rides to the Comcast Center to see Radiohead. Boom goes the dynamite: he picked her up at her Boston home and they went together! We thought that was pretty crazy and gave credit to Briana for risking her life to drive to the concert with a stranger. We began talking about music and all other sorts of topics including past concert adventures and my love life or lack there of while a great band, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah played in the background. Then Ray said the line that made Chris's day: "You two lead very interesting lives" Chris replied, 'yeah I guess we do; I go day by day'."We finally reached the parking lot at 8:15. The sad part was the opening act (a fine act, indeed) Grizzly Bear already finished their set by the time we got there. I was only mildly disappointed; Ray and Briana were more down.

Act 2 (The Concert):

Glen: Having never been to the Comcast Center, I was surprised at how large a complex it was. And of course, it was supremely packed once we entered the concourse. Ray, who had lawn seats like us, managed to score a nice center spot in the front row of that section. We only had to wait five or ten minutes to Radiohead to get onto the stage, which I guess was great timing. All of sudden, I spot Thom Yorke and his crew on the stage! The lights behind the stage go on and the band starts playing their hit song "Reckoner" off of In Rainbows. They followed that with a fantastic rendition of "15 Step." Let me just make something real clear: the light show was without a doubt the best I've seen. The lights changed perfectly with respect to the mood of every song and the huge HD screens projected the band as good as an HD screen can project something. During "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" little fishes (gold spots on the big screen) appeared. During another song, the lights shifted so you could make out the lyrics of the song (I can't remember which one, unfortunately). Some of the other highlights of the night, in my opinion, were "The Bends" and "House of Cards". When "The Bends" came on, everyone was cheered considering that's one of the group's most popular tunes. "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" brought us perhaps the best variation of lights and effects. Unfortunately for Chris, there were "No Surprises" and no "Creep" obviously. Perhaps one surprise, if you call it that, was "Karma Police" which hasn't been played all that much in recent times. "Karma Police" was one of the first songs I heard by Radiohead so it was a pleasant experience to hear it live. About 30 minutes into the concert, these two men decided to stand right in front me. Of course, it made my view all that much more suckier. I had to remind myself at this time that I am non-violent human being. That's because they were fondling each other in addition to other ungodly acts of affection. I felt like tapping the lad's shoulder and saying "the George Michael concert was a few weeks ago, bud."

Chris: All excellent performances of excellent songs. Mostly tunes from their latest album In Rainbows, which of course was no surprise since they are touring behind it. There were a few from Kid A and OK Computer. In fact "Karma Police" and "Paranoid Android" imo got the biggest reaction, oh along with "The Bends" (the only song from the album of the same name). I can't forget the unpleasantness that happened during "Paranoid Android" some male concertgoer was taken from the audience, he was stumbling and clearly intoxicated and taken aside. He couldn't stand up; he could barely breathe. As security tried to cope with him through this heinous situation, which ended in him being wheel chaired out of there, Thom Yorke was softly singing "God Loves his children" I don't know I just found that weird, surreal in a way. Poor guy though. I also want to note, that I saw them search him too. "The people generally seemed enthusiastic, energetic, happy. That's something I always notice. You know everyone says: 'Look at these mopey, downer bands, all the fans must want to kill themselves, etc.' I never see that. Whether its Deftones, Thrice, The Used, Morrissey, the Editors, No Age, Radiohead, or whomever. People always get the wrong idea. I felt like everyone was united during "The Bends" when everyone sang together "Where do we go from here?" The song might be pessimistic, but if everyone is together, then they realize that they're not alone. That's key. That saves people. That's one of the main problems with so many bands. As far as I know "Souljah Boy" doesn't save people. And so people always ask me why I'm so crtical of songs such as the aforementioned SB. It's real simple: you can't just act like everything is great all the time. That's not real. Like Maynard James Kennan says if we recognize that the bad is just as important as the good, then we can move one, we can evolve.... and you can have fun along the way! Of course you can mindlessly dance to the mainstream pop hits and never learn anything about yourself or anything about those around you, but it's certainly not necessary, there are alternatives."

Act 3: The show ended at 10:55 PM. To put things simply, we waited in the parking lot from 11:30 PM to 1:15 AM before the line of cars started moving. We got home around 2:30/3:00 AM, which sucked, but because the concert was so awesome, it was worth it.

Conclusion: Chris summed it up very well: "Despite the fact that I could barely see the band play 90% of the time (I mostly watched them on those massive screens) I'd still consider it the best concert I've been to." Personally, I can't wait until the next RH performance; you know damn well we will get seats next time.


  1. Nice Job! Oh, btw we discussed both of our love lives or lack there of, but mostly mine. And also I wasn't waiting for them to play "Creep." I knew they weren't. It's a fine song, but like most fans I feel that it's overplayed. Other songs, besides "No Surprises" that I'd hope they'd play were: "Let Down," "Airbag," "Fake Plastic Trees," "(Nice Dream)," and "You and Whose Army." But, I can't complain. Also, like most concerts at this venue, there was a lot of reefer toking. People right beside were lighting up. Which doesn't bother me. They weren't unruly like some of the drunkards during the show and afterwards. Some assholes were screaming at the soft parts in "Exit Music (For a Film)." After the show another asshole (or perhaps it was the same fella?) began yelling "hot carl" at the top of his lungs and cowardly barged through everyone. One of the people he walked into replied,"Thanks for yelling right in my ear asshole." I felt the same way, but the tone of his voice was priceless. He sounded very nerdy, all the more complimented by his appearance. I then said to Glen, "I'd expect this at Motley Crue, but not here!" Seriously, though I can't imagine such cretins listening to a thought provoking band like Radiohead. Strange world.

  2. I enjoyed the show, albeit there were many reasons prior and after the show to diminish the overall experience. Partly due to my advancing age but I go to concerts to enjoy the music...not drink huge amounts of alcohol or scream 'Hot Carl' at the top of my lungs.

    Anyway, I'm surprised how horrific it is getting into the Comcast center. Now multiply that by ten times and that is the experience leaving the venue. Took 2.5 hours to get out of the place.

    But, this was Radiohead and I haven't seen them since the "OK Computer" tour. Although I was surprised of the few songs they sang from that album and "The Bends". However, I cannot complain as I love all their albums so it was great seeing them perform.

    My highlights included "Optimistic", "Everything in Its Right Place", "The National Anthem" and all the ssongs from latest album were great; "House of Cards", and "Jigsaw Falling into Place", & "All I Need".

    Oh, "Wolf at the Door" was a great surprise too!

    Light show was fantastic and RH seemed energetic and happy to be there...although Thom is not a big crowd communicator...guess he does it through his music. Colin seemed the most excited to be playing last night.

    Lastly, not having been to the Comcast Center, I mistakingly sat in someones seat in section 9....I was supposed to be in section 4...Big difference. We luckily moved up right before they came on stage.

    The great folks at the Comcast center want everyone to leave as soon as that you can sit in your car for over two hours. Lesson learned....spring the $30/$40 for private parking off site if you can.

  3. Clemulus, thanks for responding man! Did you happen to witness the 'Hot Carl' youngster in action?

    But yeah, next time paid parking is the only way to go.

    Thanks for mentioning those songs (I'm unfamiliar with them, but wanted to know their names so I can download 'em)

  4. Well how about that...I was searching for reviews of the show and look what Google turned up. Nice reading your perspective on our unlikely foursome ;)

    Great review, incidentally. That light show was absolutely ridiculous. I put my own up at, and you'll be able to download a recording of the show there too in a few hours.

    PS. Yeah, I witnessed the hot carl guy in action to. Huh...

  5. I think everyone heard Hot Carl.....I thought I lost him until I started getting out of the parking lot at 1:15 am and he came past my car.

    I thought about running him over but quickly came to my senses.

    I liked the Light show, considering the venue.

    I look forward to checking out your download.

  6. Oh yeah, Ray did you end up getting out of parking lot quickly or did you end up having to wait a hell of a long time as well? I know you made a mad dash out of the Center the second the concert ended.

  7. Wait, I'm totally lost, where was your car after you got out?

  8. Why do guys groping each other make you think of George Michael? Are you gay?

  9. Bet: It was a joke, almost an inside one if you want to call it that. I'm not gay, nope.

  10. Amazing show. Lovely Review. Glad I got to be a part of your experience !


  11. Glad you commented back Brianna, I thought we had lost you forever. haha


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