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Radiohead @ the Hollywood Bowl, 8/25/08

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There is so much hyperbole and exaggeration that can be attached to the live performance of Radiohead. In their 15 or so years on the music scene their rise has been one of steady incline and pure consistency. A first time attendance of a Radiohead show generally yields responses like "Worth every bit of hype" "Awe- inspiring" and "Life changing." As a first time attendee Monday night at the Bowl, let me tell you the Radiohead live experience is most certainly worth the hype, most certainly awe inspiring and nothing short of life changing.

Ok, while the last may be a bit of that exaggeration I was describing at the outset, Monday night's performance, the second of two nights at the Bowl, was something that I will remember for a long time. I have long been a fan of this band and would even go as far to say that they are one of the best bands of this generation and while that may draw the ire and eye rolling of many who claim them to be arrogant and pretentious, I dare them to make these claims after attending one of these live performances. With each album and each accompanying tour, Thom Yorke and co. continue to prove this claim true and this recent run only furthered this reputation.

The 27 song set, yes 27 (and so many hits were left off the setlist!), spanned the entirety of the catalogue of the group. From the rock driven hits off the breakout album The Bends, to the experimental electo-rock tracks on Amnesiac and Kid A and heavy on the newest, groundbreaking album, In Rainbows, there literally was something for everyone.

The setlist varied by a whopping 10 songs or so from the previous night's performance and featured some rarities that have rarely been played or haven't been played in ages. Thom Yorke's solo song "Cymbal Rush", a great impromptu cover of the Neil Young song "Tell Me Why" and a personal favorite "True Love Waits" made for quite the special evening. In an almost organic connectivity the band grew more and more comfortable with their audience and it was apparent in the quality and appeal of their performance. The band was ensconced in a cube-like structure of fluorescent tubes that changed colors with each song and proved a trance educing visual accompaniment for each song.

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There really isn't anything more I can add that hasn't already been said about this band. They truly have become the standard for today's rock scene both musically and business wise. Anyone who has denied this band or has shunned them because of their pretension must see them live as it truly is rock music at its finest.

1. Reckoner
2. Optimistic
3. There There
4. 15 Step
5. All I Need
6. Pyramid Song
7. Arpeggi
8. The Gloaming
9. Videotape
10. Talk Show Host
11. Faust Arp
12. Tell Me Why (Neil Young Cover)
13. No Suprises
14. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
15. The Bends
16. National Anthem
17. Nude
18. Bodysnatchers

Encore 1:

19. House of Cards
20. Planet Telex
21. Go Slowly
22. Fake Plastic Trees
23. True Love Waits
24. Everything In Its Right Place

Encore 2:

25. Cymbal Rush
26. Karma Police
27. Idioteque