The last time I saw Radiohead live was back in 2000, at Southpark Meadows in Austin, TX. They were touring Kid A. I was in college at UT. And I remember lying back on the lawn imagining the stage pavilion was a spacecraft that would lift us all up to the magical planet where Thom Yorke lives.
I'm a "grownup" now and do fewer drugs, but at last night's Radiohead show at Berkeley's The Greek, I remembered that feeling of far out connection, and was once again totally transported by the performance.
The music, as always, was a symphony—both cerebral and spontaneous, otherworldly and yet right there. There were new songs and beloved songs—"Yeah right," Yorke semi-laughed when someone inevitably shouted "Play Creep!", but the band did close with an especially resonant singalong of "Karma Police."
But while Yorke's original hipster look (grandpa cardigan, drooping top knot, and stretched-out tee) and the absolutely nerdy precision focus of his band endeared me to the memory of that show that so swept me up 17 years ago, it was the lights—the insanely colorful, ridiculously arresting, dreamlike quality of the most incredible laser light show ever—that kept everyone (even the Millennial guy who hollered "I know this one!" at the cue of "Karma Police") enthralled.
My less-than-pro iPhone pics don't entirely do it justice. But then, they are as my memory is of last night's show: Dreamy, and just a little bit out of focus. In rainbows, indeed.