Radiohead – Radio City Music Hall; New York, NY (1998-04-18)

  • Radiohead – Radio City Music Hall; New York, NY (1998-04-18)

It should come as no surprise that the first three concerts I attended featured Blur, Oasis and Radiohead as headliners. I was groomed from a young age on Brit-Pop by foreign camp counselors, and I am forever indebted to them for introducing me to some amazing bands. I also need to thank my mom for taking me to see Blur when I was barely 14, for paying for me to see Oasis with my friend Jonas, and — most importantly — buying two tickets for my fifteenth birthday to see Radiohead at Radio City Music Hall. I sat in the 12th row center, and to this date it has been the single greatest concert I’ve ever seen in my life. Spiritualized opened the show with an eye-opening performance (have I posted the MP3s of their set yet? I feel like I have), and Radiohead… they left me speechless. This was the band’s second night in New York and the finale performance on their 14-show, 21-day tour American tour. The band was in very high spirits, with Thom sprinkling in a number of comments about how happy he was that this was the final show. “Thank you very much and welcome to the last show,” Thom mentions after “Karma Police.” Later he beams, “The last show! Yay! You don’t know how happy we are. This is us happy. So happy. We’re so happy we’re going to play a really obscure song,” before launching into “The Trickster.” If you’ve seen the documentary Meeting People Is Easy you have seen firsthand what a nightmare worldwide success — and the ensuing world tour — was for the band.

Still, for fans in the audience, this was as good a show as one could ask for. The band sprinkled in obscure tunes (“Bishop’s Robes” !!) b-sides (“Talk Show Host”), songs from an upcoming EP (“Polyethylene”), and a song that would appear on Kid A (“How To Disappear Completely”). That night was the last tour date of a proper US Tour the band would play until 2001. They would play one- or two-off dates later in 1998 and in 1999, but for all intents and purposes it was the band’s last tour date until they supported Kid A. On that tour I saw them perform at Madison Square Garden and two nights at Liberty State Park, neither of which held a candle to the Radio City Music Hall show.

To see a band at their absolute peak is as rare as it is a feat. Sometimes it takes five or ten or more years to realize that a small window of time represents the pinnacle of a band’s career. Others could probably tell the moment they left the venue that they had witnessed something special. I was not one of those people. I assumed (wrongly! naively!) that Radiohead would keep getting better and better. I’m not trying to sound like a braggart or a downer or anything, but as far as setlists, audience connection and overall performance are concerned, that tour was very likely the best Radiohead ever was. There, I said it. Radiohead. Over.

Radiohead
Radio City Music Hall
April 18th, 1998
MegaUpload DL Link

01. Meeting In The Aisle
02. Airbag
03. Karma Police
04. Talk Show Host
05. Exit Music (For A Film)
06. Planet Telex
07. Climbing Up The Walls
08. Just
09. Bishop’s Robes
10. Subterranean Homesick Alien
11. My Iron Lung
12. The Trickster
13. No Surprises
14. The Bends
15. Fake Plastic Trees
16. Bones
17. Paranoid Android
18. Lucky
19. Let Down
20. Polyethylene
21. Lurgee
22. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
23. How To Disappear Completely

[Image courtesy of Photographers Direct]

4 comments

  1. Tyler Kent
    |

    My 1st 3 ever concerts took place in Savannah and Atlanta. My family moved to Hilton Head Island from Chicago in 1977… we returned to Chitown when Dad decided his medical practice in Chicago was more lucrative and stables than trying to crack the cliqueish island real estate biz. The Hunt brothers cornering the silver market ate up our family nestegg too as Dad was short silver and gold as the fucking market closed limit up for days on end. Literally millions were lost…

    Anyhow, 1st 3 shows were Billy Squire and Saga at the Savannah Civic Center, Def Leopard, Krokus and Gary Moore also at the Civic Center and Black Sabbath with Doc Holiday at Atlanta’s Omni. We went back to Atlanta and saw Zapp and Roger a bit later. I’ll advised that gig. We just wanted to see a concert and our family went to Atlanta for the weekend so since that was the only gig in town that 15 year olds could get into we talked our parents into letting us go even though we had no clue who the duck they were. Turned out we were the only white folks in a sold out Omni and stood out like sore thumbs. We weren’t very welcome and frankly fuck ’em… that precursor to rap, funk, wasn’t up my alley and still isn’t.

  2. Tyler Kent
    |

    Fucking spell check on my Android!
    “Stables” should ne stable.
    “Def Leopard” should be what, Def Leppard.
    “I’ll advised” should be ill-advised.
    “Duck should be fuck.
    And while funk isn’t a favourite it IS better than rap or hip-hop or whatever the hell its called…. I actually like some Funkadelic.

  3. |

    This was one of my first concerts as well and I couldnt have put it any better. Absolutely amazing and one of , if not the, top concerts of my life! Please post the Spiritaulized set if you have it, I couldn’t find it in the search.

Leave a Comment