Radiohead Live @ 02 Arena (08/08/12)


Whilst Radiohead’s ‘The King of Limbs’ might have been a rather polarizing album when first released, featuring unusual musical techniques and motifs even for Radiohead, it seems the tracks featured on the album find themselves at their best in the live context by the band. Radiohead’s performance at the 02 Arena certainly featured a very unusual selection of Radiohead tracks, with there being very few fan favourites, though the performance still sticks out as a wonderful representation of what Radiohead are capable of. The concert itself showed new majesty and life in some tracks we might not pay much attention to.

Much of Radiohead’s performance was a rather dark and almost macabre affair, with many tracks contributing towards this rather unsettling atmosphere. Although somewhat unsettling at times, there was an incredibly refined performance from the band, who managed to get everything they pushed out sounding as perfect as it could possibly be. The set-list was certainly an odd selection of tracks, featuring mostly new compositions from the band, and very little that could be deemed as ‘popular’. Not to say that it wasn’t enjoyable though. Radiohead’s technical performance was near perfect, with tracks such as ‘Bloom’, ‘Myxomatosis’ and ‘The Gloaming’, (which are somewhat uninspiring tracks on their albums), actually became some of the highlights of the concert. A few surprises included were the performance of the non-album track ‘These Are My Twisted Words’, which sounded even better than its original recording. On top of that was one of the most beautiful renditions of ‘Pyramid Song’, which tugged at the heart-strings in its absolutely harrowing beauty, and a phenomenally electric performance of ‘There There’, which managed to get the whole audience going.

Whilst Radiohead managed to get a lot of their ‘King of Limbs’ tracks sounding at arguably their best, their whole concert seemed a little lackluster to a small extent. There was a somewhat polarizing element to the gig due to the set-list Radiohead had opted for, which included many unusual tracks, and few well known tracks. Whilst it was incredibly enjoyable hearing these more unknown tracks from Radiohead, it seemed the rest of the audience didn’t really get it, with their only electric moments being when the band played ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Everything In Its Right Place’. The whole polarizing and dividing aspect of ‘The King of Limbs’ became much more apparent during Radioheads performance as one just had to look around to see how almost uninterested many of the audience members were. Considering the gig was first released as a concert for fans, it seems unusual how the audience didn’t feel like getting themselves involved.

Radiohead’s concert might perhaps have been as polarizing as the album it accompanied, but it provided some brilliant insight into some the inner workings of the bands more unusual songs. The band themselves certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves as they launched into phenomenal versions of particular odd tracks. The gigs highlights seem to be the performance of these odd little tracks, which made up a very significant portion of the set-list itself. Perhaps to outsiders this isn’t a clear indication of what Radiohead is capable of, but to those who know and love their music, they should have been able to see the brilliance of the band through their performance.


  1. Lotus Flower
  2. 15 Step
  3. Bloom
  4. Kid A
  5. The Daily Mail
  6. Myxomatosis
  7. Climbing Up The Walls
  8. The Gloaming
  9. Separator
  10. These Are My Twisted Words
  11. Like Spinning Plates
  12. Nude
  13. Identikit
  14. Karma Police
  15. Feral
  16. Idioteque
  17. Pyramid Song
  18. Staircase
  19. Morning Mr. Magpie
  20. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
  21. Reckoner
  22. Give Up The Ghost
  23. There There
  24. Everything In Its Right Place
Categories: Concerts/Gigs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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