Radiohead are one of those bands. One so hyped, adored and worshipped beyond all reasonable measures that it is sometimes hard to lose sight of what it is that makes them such a special band. What they have done for popular music as a whole is quite remarkable; constantly pushing boundaries of sound and surprising audiences with every new studio release, they continue to damn well do as they please, even to this day. With this in mind, the prospect of witnessing them live for the first time was quite the exciting one.
My dodgy Instagram shot. But, oh the lights!
From the first pounding moments of 'Lotus Flower' the entire audience was enraptured; gallivanting off to subconscious levels previously unexplored. A personal highlight was 'Myxomatosis'; Thom Yorke's fearless 'dancing' (locked-leg leaping and swinging about would be a more accurate description) was a sight to behold. Their energy and fearless stage show was completely mesmerising. It is normal to assume that an arena gig may be less personal than an Academy or club show, and being positioned anywhere other than in front of the stage would mean you can barely see a thing, but this was not the case with Radiohead. Be it the wonderful colours and lights, the pounding energy of their music (that simply does not accurately translate onto record), or the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd who they have successfully captivated; Radiohead command an arena and each song seemed to enthral and move me more than the last.
Upon reflection, discussing at length with my boyfriend as to just why Radiohead had just blown me away, I could not describe my awe in any means other than to refer to the band as a tree. I think what I was trying to stay, whilst utterly dumbfounded (and concentrating on navigating the M62 at the time), was that Radiohead have a command of their instruments, the stage and music in general which is such a beautifully rare occurrence that witnessing such chemistry leaves you wondering how a band can function with such individualistic flare yet retain such a presence that seems impossible among a group as opposed to one individual. They live and breathe the music in the few hours of their set, and you find yourself living and breathing it right along with them.