Best Live Act

by Jonathan on December 6, 2001

In the January 2002 issue of Spin, Radiohead were named “Best Live Act.” Here’s the article:

Radiohead mean different things to different people. But to the American record- buying public, Radiohead still means ace Anglo guitar bombast and choked-up balladry, not synthesizer loops and drum machines. So while Radiohead the “band”? spent most of early 2001 doing whatever the hell they wanted, Radiohead the “sound” struggled on without them. Americans a little tired of Kid A-ing around, discovered a shelf full of alternatives. Among the bands willing to be Radiohead because Radiohead didn’t want to be Radiohead anymore were:

Travis (Radiohead but nice), Coldplay (Radiohead but sincere),? Doves (Radiohead but vaguely funky), Muse (Radiohead but not that good), David Gray (Radiohead for your mom), and Clinic (Radiohead for Radiohead). At the dawn of summer, with the new Radiohead album Amnesiac selling well though puzzling fans further, the situation seemed irreversible. But soon, all that changed. An anxious nations concerns were washed away nightly during Radioheads triumphant late summer tour of arenas and rave-like venues. Icy swaths of synths gave way to Jonny Greenwood’s roaring guitar and brother Colin’s rollicking bass. Newer songs particularly the frantic “Idioteque”? and the blistering bottom heavy “The National Anthem”, rocked like classic Radiohead. At New York City’s Madison Square Garden in August, as the pulsing final notes of “Everything In It’s Right Place”? receded all “halteration” (as Mary J. would say) was extinguished along with the last cigarette lighters. The name of the band’s late- 2001 mini live album-I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings- seemed apt. So, rock ‘n’ roll duly saved, and principles intact, Radiohead the “band” jetted off to Bilbao to play with their Moogs.

{thanks to Lewis}



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