Posted in music | pictures on June 1, 2012

photos by Amanda Hatfield words by Andrew Sacher

Radiohead at Prudential Center - 5/31/12
Radiohead

"We're not ready for the greatest hits yet... when we are we'll be dead," said Thom Yorke during Radiohead's first of two Prudential Center shows last night (5/31), before going into "Identikit," a new song they've been playing on tour. It's things like that which made it clear during their show that Radiohead is like no other rock band with enough stature and fame to play an arena like Prudential Center. Those bands usually do play hit after hit, whereas Radiohead's set focused most heavily on deeper cuts from their two most recent albums and newer, post-TKOL tracks. And while most arena-sized bands project themselves onto massive screens to cater to the far-away fans, Radiohead opts for a series of smaller moveable screens that project grainy images of individual members from carefully planned camera angles in an art-collage fashion. Those screens blended with the band's light show, heightening the atmosphere and, like 2011's divisive The King of Limbs, continued to prove that Radiohead refuse to be jaded by a 20+ year career and that they deliver with the same spirit as the band who wrote those hits they preferred not to play.

Radiohead kicked off their set around 8:50 in front of a backdrop of dripping lights, similar to the lines that obscure the TKOL album art, with the opening track off that album, "Bloom." The band have been known to rotate instruments according to the song, and this one saw them in their traditional "rock band" format with Thom on guitar, but it only took one more song ("15 Step") for Thom to show off those dance moves that anyone who hasn't seen them live before may remember from the zany "Lotus Flower" video. That song started in a dimly lit setting, with a double drum intro and Thom's vocals, but once the guitar kicked in, the band was blasted with light and met with huge cheers from the crowd.

Though I mentioned it wasn't a hits set (and better because of it), it goes without saying that when they played "Karma Police," the crowd gave by far the highest level of participation they'd given all night. Everyone who had been watching the show from their seats stood up, and the entire Prudential Center joined in on vocals, overpowering Thom's own voice. It was like a campfire song (cause you know, "Karma Police" is one of the few Radiohead songs you and your friends can manage on an acoustic guitar) coming to life on a level unimaginable. They followed that with the bass-heavy "Feral," which saw Thom's craziest dancing yet, in front of an equally spastic light show. Then came "Idioteque," the final song of their pre-encore set, and when the heavy drum breaks came in, I'm still not sure if Thom's mic was malfunctioning or if he was intentionally cutting out, but the crowd immediately chimed in, chanting every single word for the remainder of the song.

Radiohead quickly returned for their first of two encores, opening with the only Amnesiac song of the night, "You and Whose Army?" After a couple more, they finished the first encore with their live/dancey rendition of "Everything In Its Right Place." The song, which is generally one of the band's more ambient cuts, was propelled by a relentless bass drum and shakers, and the audience clapped along on every beat. At the end of the song, the band members slowly left the stage, until only Jonny Greenwood and Ed O'Brien were left, continuing to manipulate the song through samplers. Eventually they left too, letting the song exist entirely on its own above an empty stage.

Their second encore began with a stripped down version of the band performing "Give Up The Ghost," and similarly to "Everything In Its Right Place," it ended with Thom's looped vocals harmonizing over each other after he had stepped back from the mic. They followed that with a distorted take on Kid A's "The National Anthem" which saw a rare moment of two distinctly different colored lights hitting the stage at once, and they wrapped things up with "Reckoner."

Unfortunately, I showed up a bit late and missed most of Caribou's opening set, but from what I saw they were killing it as well. Though the crowd had barely filled in yet, Caribou seemed unaffected by it and delivered a solid set of material from their 2010 LP, Swim. I was able to catch them closing the set with the album's two opening songs, the warped pop tune, "Odessa," and an extended version of the choppy dance track, "Sun." Before Radiohead left the stage, they greatly praised the band and thanked them for opening (we already know they're fans).

Radiohead and Caribou continue their tour together, and do it again at Prudential Center tonight (6/1). The setlist from last night is HERE. More pictures and videos below...

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Radiohead - "Everything In Its Right Place" at Prudential Center 5/31/12

Radiohead - "There, There" at Prudential Center 5/31/12

Radiohead - "Give Up the Ghost" at Prudential Center 5/31/12

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Comments (67)

OMG!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:19 AM

first!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:19 AM

Why two postings for the same show? Don't you BV people talk to each other before you post stuff?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:25 AM

show was sick, fuk all the hate

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:26 AM

there is no hate, only people who weren't there.

such a good show

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:28 AM

^^ cause one had the setlist and the other had the pics and vids which were werent ready at 8am u fukking a$$hat

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:29 AM

Great show last night!!! Ps. I love your blog and have been following it for quite some time. It seems as if we are always at the same Radiohead shows :)

Posted by Laura | June 1, 2012 10:29 AM

Did anyone else get on the Path train and wait for it to leave for like an hour? That sucked.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:32 AM

beep beep boop boop beep

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:33 AM

They should just wait and post the pics/setlist/review all at once.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:34 AM

dems is some good pics

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:38 AM

great pics very good show, but of the 16 ive seen ranks mid to lower pack, this was the 4th ive seen this tour. doesnt mean it wasnt great, but on a relative basis. i htink tonight will be nuts. tna was great tho.. there was def some technical issues but they moved on nicely... i think there was a cockup during 15 step too..

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:48 AM

Dear Lord. All these shameless YouTube self-promoting bootleggers. Get your face outta the camera and experience the show.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:55 AM

^THIS

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 10:57 AM

Thom Yorke is ugly!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:09 AM

Seriously one of the most underwhelming shows I've been to in awhile. Radiohead projected themselves as if they were an opening act instead of the massive rock group they are. Seriously disappointing

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:13 AM

radiohead start time?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:15 AM

I agree with the Amateur youtube video and pics should stop. If you are not within 15 ft of the band don't bother.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:15 AM

11:13 just because you don't know the songs they played doesn't mean anything. So they didn't play Creep get over it!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:16 AM

Who deez

.N.
. I.
. G.
. G.
. E.
. R.
. S.

is?!?!?!?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:17 AM

i heard the will call line was super long. fucking paperless tix. any word on that? i'm heading to tonight's show.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:17 AM

sooo good. we got to the venue at 7 and had paperless tickets. took about 40 min to get in but we got a great spot on the floor still, about 15-20 heads back

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:20 AM

1115am You're retarded! 15 ft of the band haha. You can't even appreciate full stage set up if you're that close. Only retards like you would wanna be up front and take pictures.

It sounded great middle of the floor right in front of the soundboard. That's where it'll sound great you bafoon!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:23 AM

never trust anyone who says "killing it"

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:25 AM

stellar performance last night

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:26 AM

11:16 that wouldn't help it, probably would have sounded artificial anyway at this point in their career. Hearing how they did karma police last night made me cringe.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:33 AM

11:23...wow learn to read..I was talking about taking good youtube videos and pictures..on the crappy phones 95% of people at concerts have you can't take a good youtube video or picture from across the floor you retard!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:33 AM

if you are picking up tickets from will call/fan club/ go past the line on the right hand side/ those ppl online are waiting to get in the venue/ Will call line itself was not an issue/Getting into the venue itself was slow going/ I didn't see any support from the venue directing ppl where to go/

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:34 AM

One thing with the paperless tickets. If you have your credit card just go in the normal gates, they have scanners. That wasn't entirely clear and led some to several different lines. Some being me.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:43 AM

11:43 - no need to go to will call line? they'll just scan my CC upon entrance into the venue?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:46 AM

If you have waste floor tickets go to the Box Office first to pick them up (i.e. these actually aren't paperless, you CAN transfer them outside the venue after the ID holder/buyer signs for them and picks them up) and then get in through the "line"/one security guard standing to the right of the GA line.

I got there at 7:30 and there were zero lines for presale tickets at either the box office or the actual entrance. Floor is easy to navigate/find people if you don't need to be in the front.

Sound was also pretty great, considering how big the space was.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:54 AM

Was this Andrew's (reviewer's) first Radiohead show?

" live/dancey rendition of "Everything In Its Right Place." The song, which is generally one of the band's more ambient cuts, was propelled by a relentless bass drum and shakers, and the audience clapped along on every beat."

They've been playing Everything In Its Right Place like that since that since the 2000 tour if not before it.

If you're a first time caller to a Radiohead show, maybe talk to a few people or do some Youtube research first. The key on this tour is how tight the songs are. Early on (Feb/Mar), it was a bit sloppy at times but by Coachella, they were completely locked in as a group. There is absolutely a difference.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:56 AM

i love tom yoke!!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 11:59 AM

I love this band, but am I the only one who can't tolerate Thom's "dancing??" People seem to look forward to it, but he just ends up looking retarded.

Posted by M | June 1, 2012 12:00 PM

I encourage these amateur youtube bootleggers to continue doing this, this way I can enjoy the show and then watch vids later from my couch

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 12:05 PM

2 thread within 12 hours on one show? This is LCD proportions or idiocy, only LCD is now gone and Radiotwat remains.

I don't give a fuck about the wave of hate to come, but I need to ask if I am the only one who is just SO OVER this fucking bloated, self-important band?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 12:19 PM

I don't want to be the one to say the king has no clothes, but - was it me?? But I found the show self indulgent and boring. This is a review from a Miami show, and I think it's spot on for last night's show.

During the sold-out first show of a two-month tour that will take the widely acclaimed band across the United States and into Mexico, Radiohead came across unprepared at best and listless at worst. Beset by languid material and an apparent disinterest in building any momentum from one song to the next, the six-piece British act became something that once would have seemed unimaginable to its fans: Radiohead was a bore.

Posted by Jack | June 1, 2012 12:20 PM

I can't believe all the insensitive "retarded" comments. I'd say Thom York is doing pretty good for someone with Down's Syndrome.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 12:22 PM

12:20 spot on. I regret buying tickets for both of the nights.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 12:23 PM

12:20 finding Radiohead boring..who needs ya. Other will take your ticket.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 12:24 PM

What the fuck are black people doing at this concert?

Posted by Sam | June 1, 2012 12:32 PM

Good show, but nothing spectacular.

Like the new album and the new songs, but caught myself a few times wishing this show was in 2002 and not 2012, because it would be nice to hear a few more OKC, KID A, and Amnesiac tracks

.. unless of course, Thom is going to sing every OKC track in a half mocking way, as he did Karma Police. It reminded me of his renditions of Creep from the Meeting People Is Easy doc.

Hope night 2 brings some surprises.

Posted by boner | June 1, 2012 12:48 PM

It is to be expected from a race of people that eat congealed pig's blood for breakfast. I will never understand how Britain continued as a country unconquered, more or less as a world power. The country is filled with midgets with bad teeth (except for Ed O'Brien, who is not a midget). If I cared about midgets, I'd go to the circus.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 12:49 PM

Do I need to state the obvious?

Afghan Whigs @ Bowery Ballroom = the show of the year

Full stop.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 12:51 PM

^^ Right! Full on! 12:51 +1

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 1:19 PM

That Afghan Whigs was seriously the best show of the year, 12:51 +1

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 1:20 PM

Dream Police > Karma Chameleon > Karma Police!
beep beep beep

Posted by Smack | June 1, 2012 1:53 PM

Radiohead and Afghan Whigs are both awful and appeal only to moronic superfans unwilling to ever admit the bands they love so dearly have not aged well and have contempt for their fans.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:04 PM

^what bands have aged well?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:10 PM

^^ LCD

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:20 PM

Badfinger.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:23 PM

^^ Archers of Loaf, Guided by Voices, Dinosaur Jr.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:30 PM

^Wow..PLEASE tell me you are not serious?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:33 PM

^^ Bjork!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:38 PM

Radiohead are doing an acoustic set at Occupy Wall Street at 4:00. Will be amazing. I can see them setting up a small stage now and security are setting up around the park.

Posted by Jan Jansson | June 1, 2012 2:41 PM

^^ Sons of Elvis, Bettie Serveert, Blonde Redhead

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 2:59 PM

^Holy shit..Sons of Elvis..I had that cd..sunchocker! I haven't heard that name in a decade!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 3:01 PM

absolutely beautiful and eye-popping document of an incredible evening -- well done!

Posted by wagz2it | June 1, 2012 3:01 PM

^Still cannot believe Dave Hill has outlived that band into where he is now.

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 3:03 PM

Nada Surf has never aged. Still churning out the best power pop-rock!

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 3:44 PM

The King of Limbs < a big steaming bowl of mimi's hummus

Posted by Anonymouse | June 1, 2012 4:44 PM

LESS THAN FACE. HAHAHA

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 5:19 PM

When did Thom Yorke start looking like Gregg Allman?

Posted by Anonymous | June 1, 2012 5:43 PM

We went in through the parking garage with paper tickets, no need for id or will call -- I had thought it would be like Roseland and you needed your cc and id but not necessary that way
Night 1 exceeded expectations Night 2 did not but agree that the show is best seen far enough away to experience the lights/monitors
One thing you can say for a Radiohead crowd -- they are much more civilized than most of these comments would indicate

Posted by Confused | June 2, 2012 12:17 AM

LESS THAN FACE. HAHAHA

Posted by citizen | June 5, 2012 3:34 PM

I love radiohead.

Posted by jordon | July 29, 2013 4:50 PM

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