Last night Ken and I traveled to Auburn's White River Amphitheater to see them perform, an odyssey that took no less than 2 hours since the venue is deep inside South King County, far from the freeway and only accessible via quaint one-lane farming roads. I'll describe the traffic in one word: Nightmarish. Seriously, who's idea was it to put such a large venue in such an inaccessible area? Well all was not lost. Thanks to our Garmin. The little marriage-saving, frustration-defusing GPS device quickly rerouted us around the mess (and included a picturesque tour of the area). We then only hit super bad traffic within 6 miles of the venue. Instead of, say, 35. When we finally arrived in the middle of their 2nd song, excitement and pot smoke filled the air. The section we sat in was mercifully undercover but I can't say the same for the lawn area. Anyone not under cover got absolutely drenched. (We too got soaked walking back to the car.) Anyway, we had excellent seats and an excellent vantage as evidenced in the pictures. Though we arrived a few songs into Radiohead's set, I got to hear some of my favorites: All I Need & The Gloaming. Full setlist: (Setlist & memories compiled by "Flaaneuse" found on ATEASEWEB.com.) 01. 15 Step 02. Reckoner 03. Optimistic 04. There There 05. All I Need 06. Pyramid Song 07. Talk Show Host 08. The National Anthem 09. The Gloaming 10. Videotape 11. Lucky 12. Faust Arp [Thom messes up lyrics several times, starts singing Neil Young's "Tell Me Why"; Jonny tries to follow along but can't quite get the chords. Phil comes out and drops an American dollar bill out in front of Thom and Jonny and runs away laughing. Thom and Jonny crack up completely to loud cheers. Thom tries again, says "Fuck it!", but then continues and finishes the song.] 13. Jigsaw Falling Into Place 14. Climbing Up The Walls 15. Dollars and Cents 16. Nude 17. Bodysnatchers Encore 1 18. How to Disappear Completely 19. Arpeggi/Weird Fishes 20. Idioteque 21. In Limbo [Tambourine accompaniment by Nigel Godrich. Thom, 'This is Nigel', Ed, 'He makes our records.'] 22. Street Spirit Encore 2 23. You And Whose Army? [Thom dedicates to the people who demonstrated against the WTO in Seattle in 1999] 24. No Surprises 25. Everything In Its Right Place
Thom & Co. put on a very honest show with guitars and other instruments being switched out between each song. One really neat moment came when Thom was playing at the piano where a very small camera was mounted. He got so close to the lens that it only showed the upper right quadrant of his face. As he played with his back to the audience, the video screens came alive with his one winking eye and raised eyebrows. Small thing, but for a band that remains pretty mysterious, any chance to see something intimate is surprising. I loved the lighting design and the judicious use of video screens--of course you don't want much to distract from their music because of the artistry that is involved in making many of the sound scapes. But I thought what they did was a good balance of a straight forward live set coupled with interesting visuals. Video of the "light icicles" in motion. Apologies for the shakiness as first but it does stabilize. Visually stunning.