MySetlist.co Live Review: Radiohead, 5-29-2012, Mansfield, MA

[Originally published at MySetlist.co, May 30th, 2012]

Well, I managed to check off a long-standing item on my bucket-list of bands to see before I’m too old or dead to enjoy them. And this was a goodie – Radiohead!

While I’ve been a rabid listener to the band’s music, somehow the live experience has eluded me – partly because of our moving to the US about a decade ago, and my always finding out they were touring the country after the tickets had sold out.

So, when a friend got in touch a couple of weeks back with a spare ticket, for a gig just 80 miles up the road – I was over the moon.

And what a night it was.

My twitter-stream for last night literally says:

7:10pm – Is this the most chilled pre-gig crowd ever? I think it may just be… ‪#Radiohead‬ ‪#MySetlist‬.co

7:32pm – Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that there are a LOT of Brits here? #Radiohead #MySetlist.co

7:40pm – Enjoying Caribou who are supporting tonight #Radiohead #mySetlist.co

8:55pm – Fucking hell! #Radiohead

That last tweet was posted during either the first song (Bloom from The King of Limbs) or second song (15 Step from In Rainbows) – after that, I stopped tweeting, as I got lost in the pin-sharp performance, epic soundscapes, compulsive beats and astral son et lumiére.

Wow.

So many impulses, feelings and thoughts – partly wonderment at how this band has elevated itself so far from others born and raised in the same era – Radiohead were conceived around the same time as grunge, and came of age alongside the headlong rush of Britpop – how they’ve transcended a dying industry which retains a death-grip on its belief in conformity and in-the-box thinking, how the band as a unit is so much greater than its parts, and on, and on.

I’ll list the set in a moment, but one noteworthy aspect is that the farthest they reached back was to OK Computer, and even then to two songs (Airbag and Lucky) which wouldn’t have been most people’s choices. So, a set that ignored/shunned/avoided the mainstream hits – it should have been a flop, surely?

Nope.

At one point a guy yelled “play something we know!” and seemingly two thousand people told him to shut up and enjoy himself. Politely. This set was seamless, what an incredible canon of songs from which to pick.

Of all the gigs I’ve seen, I can think of only a handful that have left me completely satiated, and that I wished would never end.

Radiohead is top of that list. See them.

Here’s a short clip of Lucky – I didn’t get the whole thing, I wanted to be focused on the band, not the camera:

And here’s the band’s full set from Coachella 2012 – which gives a good flavor of what I saw last night:

Finally, this being MySetlist.co, here’s the full setlist:

Bloom
15 step
Airbag
Staircase
The Daily Mail
Myxomatosis
The Gloaming
Separator
Pyramid Song
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Good morning Mr. Magpie
Identikit
Lotus Flower
There There
Feral
Idioteque

Encore:
Supercollider
The National Anthem
Lucky
Everything In It’s Right Place

Encore 2:
Give Up The Ghost
Body snatchers
Reckoner

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