Radiohead Tour Dates and Gigography

Hutchinson Field, Grant Park - Chicago, IL USA
August 1, 2001 with Beta Band & Kid Koala
To correct venue, city, country, or date information, please email us.
01. The National Anthem
02. Morning Bell
03. My Iron Lung
04. Karma Police
05. Knives Out
06. Permanent Daylight
07. Optimistic
08. How to Disappear Completely
09. Dollars and Cents
10. No Surprises
11. Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box
12. Talk Show Host
13. Pyramid Song
14. Paranoid Android
15. Idioteque
16. Everything In Its Right Place

17. Lurgee
18. I Might Be Wrong
19. Climbing Up the Walls
20. You and Whose Army

2nd Encore
21. Lucky
22. Fake Plastic Trees

3rd Encore
23. True Love Waits (Thom solo)
24. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Show Notes

Above is a picture of the VIP and AFTERSHOW PARTY passes Green Plastic received for the Chicago show.
There are 17 reviews for this show.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:07:13

I arrived at Hutchinson just as Beta Band left the stage. Kid Koala came on, and did some very nice DJing. I'm not a big fan of techon/DJing, but he did a marvelous job, kudos! Just as I was going toget some Pizza, I hear a huge roar erupting from the front. I turn my head, and catch the beginning to The National Anthem. The rest on the songs were a beautiful blur to me. I can't remember one damn song, but I can remember that they were unbelievable. Radiohead really got the crowd going with Optimistic, which I was really looking foward to. They nailed it right on. The best part of the show was when Thom started to play Paranoid Android. ABout twenty seconds into the song, and stopped. He openly admitted he got the first word wrong, and started over! The crowd went wild, and no one cared. The messup was gone, and they played Paranoid Android to perfection. Later, the guys played I Might Be Wrong. This was the exact opposite from the CD, with alot of emotion and hard guitar sounds.

All in all, a wonderful experience! But this would of never happeneed w/out my mom who bought me two tickets and took me to the show. Thanks mom :)

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:28:14

i work in the downtown area of chicago, and when i took the train down there and back with a coworker during the day of the radiohead concert, she kept pointing at the roadblocks and traffic and stray newspapers with big pictures of RH in them and saying, ?look what your stupid concert is doing to our city?. and i must admit, the city turned itself upside-down for this one. it?s the first rock concert of this size to be held in Grant Park, and the first ever concert in the Hutchinson Field section of Grant Park. so, expectations and fears were all high. however, everything went off without a hitch.

as i drove to the show, there was a road sign on the expressway that read: ?RADIOHEADS PARKING, TURN LEFT? odd thing to see. anyway, the concert was packed, even an hour before the first opening act, and it was impossible to get close to the stage. the closest i got was about 75 feet away, but it was still really crowded. it didn?t help that it was 92 degrees out and they prohibited bringing your own beverages to the show.

anyway, the opening acts: first up was the Beta Band, who i like a lot. however, their set was pretty lackluster-- lots of playing stuff directly off of the cd as opposed to recreating it. they made some popularly derogatory comments about MTV (whose 20th birthday it happened to be), and reminded the thirsty masses that the no-outside-water thing was ?fucking out of radiohead?s hands, so don?t blame them?. next up was Kid Koala, who was okay. the energy started out high, but then he just started playing some really slow beats and weird synthesizer records. however, he did put on Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors and Fitter Happier during his DJ-ing, so the crowd was happy.

on to radiohead. i won?t do a song-by-song, but here?s the general jist of the show. right from the beginning, the crowd was appreciative, but kinda subdued. not a lot of jumping around. that?s not to say we didn?t go completely nuts when they took the stage, but people weren?t singing along right away. as for the band, National Anthem and Morning Bell were great, but kinda stilted. then, they played My Iron Lung, and it got much more rocking. Jonny was having a hell of a time during the two guitar breakdown portions, banging away Pete Townsend-style. people started getting loosened up and singalong-like with Karma Police. i was happy to hear Permanent Daylight, which is an underheard song, and they did a solid version of it. i think this was the first time they played Optimistic during the Amnesiac tour-- i could be mistaken.

Packt was the only time a political jab was made during the show, with Thom commenting, ?This next song is dedicated to the people of ASOK.? the crowd let out a collective ?huh??, and Thom only made things slightly more clear by saying, ?They have formally destroyed your president?s mind.? during Pyramid Song, they put on a piano-cam where the big screens forced you to stare right into Thom?s face. he looked like some kind of Blind Mole-Rat, but was still endearing. after the song, he said, ?That?s for the moon? and pointed to the full moon we had above us.

after a few moments of silence, he said, ?When 1999 turned to 2000, I stared at the moon and freaked out all night. That?s why i have this beard-- i?m a werewolf. This next song is for everyone else who has a problem with the full moon. it?s called Paranoid Android.? we all cheered, and the song started. however, Thom began the song by singing, ?I-ah-uh-um...? and stopping. ?can we start that again?? he said, politely to the band. ?I sang the first word wrong, and we can?t have that, can we?? the song began again, and the show reeeeally started rocking. everyone was charmed and disarmed by the false start, and we were ready to go with the band.

Idioteque featured Colin doing this little dance like he was in some kind of workout video for drunken white boys. however, it was a peak experience and by far the best version of the song that i?ve heard. Thom was undulating around like there was no tomorrow. it was impassioned and powerful and i loved it.

when the band came on for their first encore, Thom said, ?We?re gonna sing a song off of pa...pab...papa...what do you call it?...Pablo Honey.? we didn?t know what to expect. then, they played a beautiful, straightforward, and loving rendition of Lurgee.

Climbing Up The Walls featured Thom playing the acoustic guitar with his teeth. ?nuff said.

the darkness of You And Whose Army was offset by Thom?s making goofy faces at the crowd on the piano-cam.

Fake Plastic Trees was another high point, since everyone sang along, and it felt like being around the campfire with counselor Thom.

for the third encore, Thom came out alone and grabbed an acoustic. he thanked Chicago for letting them play there, and said ?thanks to the neighbors. nah, fuck the neighbors.? then, he informed us that ?this next song is one that?s been kicking around since OK Computer and we STILL don?t know what to do with it. but here it is.? he then made me the happiest man alive by playing my favorite RH rarity and a song i had been listening to all week, praying that they might play it: True Love Waits. it was a specatacular version and i hope someone taped it. more importantly, i hope they record it soon.

finally, the whole band came out and played Street Spirit, which was fun. we were sad to see our heroes go, but that?s the way it?s gotta be. all in all, it was a first-rate RH show and they seemed to love playing for us. we paid that love right back, with interest.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:28:39

tonite, chicago became radiohead city.

the local media estimated that 25,000 packt into grant park despite absurdly hot temperatures. i arrived at 2:00 - the line to get in was already around the block. we stood in line for two hours, getting a nice view of a sound check that included the tourist, reckoner and like spinning plates. when they opened the gates at 4, people sprinted for the stage like the beatles were getting off an airplane (circa 1964). there we waited for another 2 1/2 hours (periodically doused by fire hoses to keep us cool) for beta band and kid koala, who played extremely abbreviated sets.

finally the headliners came out and played a show that included all of their most popular songs (minus airbag, exit music and just). they were full of energy and seemed to be absolutely ecstatic to be playing for such a large, loving crowd. colin bounced around; thom made faces into the piano camera and made fun of george bush. it was a good time.

then as they were finishing fake plastic trees (the last song of the second encore), 25,000 people suddenly sang "it wears me out" together and in tune as thom strummed and sang and jonny, phil, colin and ed looked in amazement at the crowd. it was the perfect ending.

but it was not the end. thom came out for a third encore. "this is a song that we've had kicking around since ok computer and just haven't known what to do with except this." yup. for the fourth time ever, true love waits was played! i have it on video but it will take me a while to get it into a format that you can put on the internet. anyway it sounded wonderful. all in all an incredible evening.

and as i walked back to my car, i could hear radiohead all around me. 25,000 cars stuck in traffic were blasting it out their windows.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:28:56

It?s twelve thirty in the morning and I just got back from the Radiohead Chicago show less than an hour ago. It was the first time I have ever seen a live Radiohead performance. Words cannot justly describe the feelings that overcome me when I see a live performance from a band like Radiohead. At first there is the extreme high I get after realizing that I have just have the privilege of seeing someone of such high caliber perform such intimate songs, but shortly thereafter the severe depression sets in. It?s what I like to call the ?when the hell am I going to have the chance to see something like this again?!? depression. How can one go from such an extremely wonderful feeling to a feeling of such despair and remorse? It?s really a beautiful thing.

Unfortunately, I was in too much awe to write down the set list. The show itself was absolutely amazing. Dead on. I?m still having trouble grasping the fact that I was actually treated to not one, not two, but three encores tonight. I don?t know the last time I was fortunate enough to be a concert in which the audience was treated to three encores (and I go to quite a few concerts). I was also lucky enough to be quite close to the stage. I was not let down in the slightest. The highlight of the evening had to be when Thom came out and played ?True Love Waits." Not many things induce goosebumps from me, but that certainly did. Simply gorgeous. *on a side note: I was also quite pleased to finally see the infamous Thom Yorke "Idioteque" dance live and in person.

As far as the actual concert going experience goes, standing outside in the blistering Chicago sun since one o?clock in the afternoon does not rank highly on my list of favorite things to do. On the bright side, I was there early enough to hear the sound check. It was nice to hear Thom say ?Thanks.? whenever he would hear us clapping for the band during the sound check. Taking into account the humidity here in Chicago, and the fact that there was approximately less than an inch of room between audience members, the temperature was seemingly 120 degrees. On top of that (you know, getting sunburn, sweating profusely and not being able to breath), I happen to have knee problems, which made the situation a bit worse. It was also great that the venue security was limiting everyone to bringing in one water bottle, and they took the caps off of all of the water bottles, too. Why? I don't know. Venue security also thought it would be a good idea to start spraying people with a hose. It was a nice thought at first, but once we were all soaking wet, pants and t-shirts glued to our bodies, the idea seemed have become more lackluster. With such negative factors weighing heavily tonight, one might think that I didn?t have as much fun as I could have. In all honesty, I would have stayed for another ten hoursif Radiohead had stayed on stage. This was, hands down, the best night of my summer thus far, and I don?t see much that could possibly top it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let the post-concert depression set in.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:29:28

National Anthem seemed to start off a little bit tricky, the vocals were loud to the point of distortion and if there were horns I couldn?t hear them over the din of the song. The sound was muddy for the first few loud songs, and seemed to clear up a bit for the more quiet numbers. I have to admit, I was one of those people who didn?t buy a ticket.. I mean why buy air? I already know what the band looks like and thanks to the giant screens to accommodate fans such as myself, we didn?t need to buy a ticket to see them perform. Hey, the rent is due people! Goggles (a friend) who reported from the inside said that the sound was much better where we were, which was centered with the stage, just further back. We hugged the fence the whole concert, while he stood on the other side, just two feet away.

It was my understanding that they moved the show from Arvey field to Hutchingtons field because the first batch of tickets sold out in four minutes, so they decided to offer more tickets and move the show to a larger field. There were a lot of people at the show, don?t get me wrong, but there was a clear fifty yards of space between the crowd and the boarder fence. This space could have been a buffer zone however, as a few people had the courage to run for it, and while their efforts were valiant, most were caught and escorted out, despite the vocal encouragement sounded by the rest of us. If the gates were closer to the crowd, it would have been much easier to sneak in.

The show went very well and for me there were a few particular stand outs such as Morning Bell, Optimistic, No Surprises, Paranoid Android, Idioteque, Lucky, and the last and probably the best song all night, Street Spirit. The band was energetic and showed no signs of touring fatigue. Yes, this is the second leg of the tour after a break, but they seemed generally enthusiastic about playing. Colin was grooving on bass, his body language giving off the fine details of sincerity, Johnny switching instruments with head swaying in rhythmic joy wonder, Thom all out jittering like a moth toward a light, Phil playing the drums like his sticks were candles lit at both ends, and Ed who clearly felt it throughout, played genuinely. What more could I say that if you weren?t there, could bring you there? The light show was enjoyable but I never give details such as that much attention when I go to shows, as I always try to concentrate on the music. Light shows for me are for people who need help getting into the music or can?t get into it at all. A cool moment in the show was at the third encore, the gatekeepers finally opened the gates and all of us behind the fence got to move in closer and listen to the final two songs, concluding with the almighty ?Street Spirit?. I even got a free ice-cream bar from the ice-cream cuties who gave me one because I was writing lyrics/song titles down! I had a great time. The show was amazing!

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:29:49

Just got back from Radiohead, playing in such a great venue in Chicago. A big field in Grant Park, right next to the lake, and with a clear view of the Sears tower and Chicago skyline to the left.

When we entered the field, it seemed like a huge barbecue. People throwing Frisbee, a mix of light jazz, techno, and crazy 1930s music playing. Surrounded by trees and Chicago. The Betas came on early to the Frasier theme, which was great. They were all in funky costumes, the drummer's huge glasses and crooked visor being the best. They played an informal set, sampling some live stuff so they could quit playing that and move on to something else. It seemed like they brought a huge bag full of crazy gadgets -- the mouth organ, Jew's Harp, giant tambourine which doubled as a metal hat, the train whistle, and who could forget the cow bell. Life was cool -- "our tribute to Ozzy Osbourne," and so was quiet, where the drummer indeed kicks ass live as well. Also, Steve Mason reading from the paper about MTV's 20th birthday and how shite it was.

Great idea: have a sweet DJ play between opening act and main event while the tedious stage preparations are under way. Kid Koala threw down a hellacious mix using three turntables. It was fun being able to watch on the screens just how the magic of DJing happened live.

I could see the Radiohead fellows milling around backstage, and sure enough, they came out and immediately fell into National Anthem. One of the immediate impressions was just how good the sound was -- every instrument was clear and loud.

Since we were craning our necks to see the whole time it didn't really bother me that much, but Thom stood right in front of Phil from my vantage point the whole time -- I love watching the drummer. At least I could occasionally see him on the video feed from the numerous security type cameras around the stage. This was a great idea, especially the camera in the piano, in which Thom made funny faces during Pyramid Song and the other piano ones.

It honestly took me a while to get into it. This was the first concert in a while that I have gone to where there isn't a lot of improvising and unexpected songs (like at Mogwai or Sigur Ros, which were my last three concerts). They pretty much ran straightforward through a ton of songs. But after a few, there came a set of about 6-8 songs where the band could do no wrong, and it was one of my favorite concert moments. I would have to look at a setlist to remember exactly where this block was, but it included Permanent Daylight, Talk Show Host, No Surprises, Dollars and Cents, and the unbelievably sweet fuzz-bass disco version of Packt Like Sardines.

After that kick ass set of songs, I was into it for the rest of the show. My favorite moment was probably Fake Plastic Trees -- the first Radiohead song I ever heard and still one of the finest, which ended the first encore, and to my knowledge then, the whole show; however, I was immediately excited when I saw Thom come out solo with an acoustic for a third encore. A kid next to me and I were hoping for Follow Me Around (RELEASE THIS NOW), but instead it was True Love Waits -- just as good if not better. I'm not living, I'm just killing time. After that the rest of the fellows joined for Street Spirit, the final tune.

I am so grateful to have seen probably my second favorite band at this time in their career -- two whole new albums of stuff to play, and seeming as happy and energetic as ever. Good God! I almost forgot You and Whose Army, which was one of the encores. This song is simply amazing.

Leaving the place, Columbus drive outside the park was completely closed off, so it was filled with thousands of people crossing it and walking down it, all with the big city buildings behind it. It looked like the entire city was deserted and that we had taken it over. What a suitable ending I think.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:30:16

The first two acts, Beta Band and Kid Koala got through there sets pretty quickly i assume because Radiohead had to have the show done by 10 pm (strict city rule bs). The one good thing is that we didn't have to wait too long for Radiohead to come out on stage. Once they came on, we all forgot about the 100 degree heat that had been plaguing us all day.

Thom was very energetic right from the first bass chord of National Anthem. He didn't need any time to warm up to the crowd at all. I'm sure you'll see the set list at the top of the page, so i'll just go through the more memorable parts.

Whenever Thom sat at the piano to play songs like "You and Whose Army" and "Pyramid Song," a small camera was right in Thoms face so the whole crowd could see him on the jumbo screens. The picture looked somewhat distorted, and Thom looked down right freaky. He played both songs mostly with his eyes shut, but gave several develish looks to the camera/crowd that sent everybody into cheers.

Talk Show Host was one of the best parts of the evening. The song went normally until right at the end when the whole band went into a 1-2 minute jam that fit beautifully with the song. The jam was about the length as the one in Permanent Daylight which they played earlier.

The more humurous part of the evening was during Paranoid Android. Thom introduced it as a dedication to the moon. He said that on the eve of 1999 to 2000 he stared at the moon for several hours and that it really freaked him out and that it was a full moon and that he might be some sort of werewolf. So he said, "This song goes out to all of those that get freaked out by the moon". They then went on to play the song only to have Thom mess up the very first word while the rest of the crowd sang "please." So time immmediately said "Whoa...Stop!" The band then stopped and Thom said "I can't start the song messing up the first word now can I?" He then restarted the song and they played it wonderfully.

Another funny moment was when Thom was about to start Pyramid Song. He heard something and turned around, and looked up at the blimp flying overhead. He then got a disgusted look on his face and gave a little "up yours" gesture to the blimp.

Radiohead also played Lurgee, an oldy from what Thom introduced as "What's that album?...Pab....Pabl...Pablo something?" A very sweet song. A nice choice from that album. I think everyone thougth they were gonna play Creep when they intoduced it, but i'm happy they didn't.

Simply stated, Fake Plastic Trees was amazing. Enough said.

But the clincher for the evening was something nobody expected. After Radiohead went off after the second encore everyone expected that the show was over. I saw that the show in Atlanta had a second encore and then they were done, and I assumed that they'd do a standard two encores and leave as well, but not the case. Thom came out by himself, and just kinda walked up to the mic and addressed the crowd. Saying "Chicago is a really cool place to play. We should do it again sometime." It was a nice thing to say, and I sure hope he meant it. His remark sent the crowd roaring and he then continued to put on an acoustic guitar and said, "This is a song that's been kicking around since '97 but we just don't know what to do with it." Then the unexpected came: "True Love Waits" There were plenty of cheers, but not the standard amount for a song they've only played several times because everyone was kinda shocked that they'd play it there and now. It really was beautiful.

Then the rest of the band came out and they played one of my favorites "Street Spirit" to close the evening. Then they all gave a wave to the crowd and then they were gone.

Anyone who REALLY knows Radiohead understands the treat of hearing such a great set like we did last night. It was simply amazing.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:30:39

Last night in Chicago, Radiohead played an amazingly diverse set to a packed Hutchinson Field. With few execeptions, they played all of their most popular songs and even played a few obscure ones. The band seemed cheerful and upbeat, joking around onstage and even coming back out for three seperate encores. As usual, they played their music masterfully and the crowd was very receptive.

As can be expected, they opened with "The National Anthem", and as soon as the first note of Colin's bass rang out there was a bum rush for the stage. They then proceeded to blaze through their setlist with little interaction with the audience. When they got to "Pyramid Song", the 2 giant screens on either side of the stage began displaying an image of Thom's face which was being fed from a small camera mounted on his piano. Noticing this, he stuck his face in the camera and began to make funny faces to much fanfare from the audience. After finishing "Pyramid Song" Thom told the audience that on New Year's Eve 1999 he had spent the night staring at the moon and "freaking out". He then supplied his scruffy beard as evidence that he was a warewolf and dedicated the next song to "anyone else who has problems with the moon". The band began to play "Paranoid Android", but after singing the first line Thom ordered the band to start over, "I sang the first word wrong and we can't have that!". After a few more songs the band thanked the audience and exited the stage, only to return for the first of three encores. Thom prefaced "Lurgee" by stating "We're going to play a song from that record-what is it called? Puh........Puh......". After three more songs they left again and then returned for their second encore, which consisted of "Lucky" and a beautiful rendition of "Fake Plastic Trees" that had the whole audience singing along. For the third encore, Thom appeared alone onstage with his acoustic guitar and said "This is a song that's been floating around since 'OK Computer' and we still don't know what to do with it", before playing "True Love Waits", sure to be many a fan's favorite moment from the show. The rest of the band then joined him onstage and they finished with "Street Spirit (Fade Out)"

All in all I must say it was an amazing show and it appeared as if the band had just as much fun playing as we did listening. If this is a good indication of what's to come on the remainder of this tour, those who plan to see them at future dates should consider themselves very lucky indeed.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:30:59

Wow...what can I say? It's been 6+ years since I've seen Radiohead perform, but the wait appears to have been well worth it. Six years ago, they were a relatively unknown band that had just released their second album. They played in a small club called the Metro with another unknown artist, David Gray, opening for them. For this show, they returned to Chicago as triumphant, respected, international artists with an impressive array of songs and experience...but seemed all the more humble for the journey.

One word about the above set - breathtaking. From beginning to end, the show never failed to please fans, new and old. The majority of the main set was pretty much the same as it has been for other shows and was absolutely solid. The band had impeccable timing throughout and one has to wonder just how many instruments Johnny Greenwood can play at one time. Thom was great with the crowd, the kind of stage presence and natural warmth that I haven?t seen since Michael Stipe on the Monster tour, and was continually comical with the fish-eye lens mounted on the baby grand piano he played for songs like "Pyramid Song" and "You and Whose Army". Very much an accomplished showman and much warmer than he had been in 1995. The inclusion of lesser-known tracks like "Permanent Daylight" and "Talk Show Host" seemed to throw some of the newer fans in the crowd a bit, but were excellent additions and really brought a lot of Radiohead's past elements and sounds into play. The only true glitch in the first set was Thom's flubbing of the words on the initial take of "Paranoid Android". After a few comical remarks, the band jumped back into the track and completed it flawlessly...and with some of the greatest energy and strength of the entire show.

The first encore was quite different than what I had expected, but again exceeded expectations. The inclusion of "Lurgee" from Pablo Honey was a nice touch and kind of served to show that the band still remembers its original roots (although they don't play too much of the Pablo Honey stuff anymore and I would kill to hear a live version of "I Can't"...something I had hoped for in the original show back in '95). "Climbing Up the Walls" started, at least to me, a bit off key, but it's really difficult to say whether or not this was accidental or simply Thom taking some artistic leave. "You and Whose Army" came off extremely well.

Now for the REALLY good stuff...

With the temperature in the mid to upper 90s all day and a heat index well into the 100s, the crowd was admittedly a little tired and subdued for the show, a fact that kind of saddened me, but it was to be expected. I honestly felt that Radiohead was going to call it quits after the first encore and end it for the night (which I would not have blamed them for since it was even hotter for them up on stage under the lights). In any event, the crowd stuck around...and
Radiohead came back out. They had several nice things to say about Chicago and it sounded like they enjoyed their time here. Hopefully Thom's allusions to wanting to play another show in town were not simply idle musing. "Lucky" was excellently done and was a track I was definitely hoping to hear. "Fake Plastic Trees", as always, was a quiet, very personal and beautiful track. The crowd fell almost silent and everyone seemed transfixed on the band. Very much a spiritual moment for the evening.

Then, something amazing happened...

After the second encore, I could have sworn that the show would end. However, the crowd continued to stay and we were rewarded with what was surely one of the gems of our time. Thom came back out, by himself, and thanked us again for sticking around. He introduced the next song as something that they'd been kicking around since OK Computer...but didn't know what to do with "except this". What followed was, possibly, the most beautiful 4-5 minutes of live performance that I have seen. Thom played "True Love Waits", solo acoustic. All 20,000 people in Hutchinson Field were transfixed on the image of a man baring his soul on stage through music. The song was haunting and beautiful and extremely well done. If anyone has a good mp3 of the's gold. It's the kind of performance (like Thom playing "Motion Picture Soundtrack" live and acoustic) that one has to witness to truly appreciate. Beauty, pure and simple. Not to distract from the performance of "Street Spirit", which aptly closed out a wonderful show, "True Love Waits" stole the show.

Overall...the show was fantastic. It's hard to compare my experiences on Wednesday with the show at the Metro in 1995. They were almost two different bands. One band was louder, angrier, and played at a venue where I literally stood six feet from a much different Thom Yorke. The other was a more mature, experimental, and experienced band that had come through hell and back, painting a much sadder picture at times, but always offering hope. I can't say which show was better...but I can easily say that Radiohead has been and still is, one of the greatest live bands to watch.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:31:40

Hi, I noticed nothing was up on the Chicago show last night, which would be a shame because it certainly was quite the memorable experience. Especially for me, as it was my 21 birthday as well. No beer, just drunk on Radiohead, I would say. Anyway, highlights (well, just about everything was a highlight, as it was my first Radiohead live experience) included "I Might Be Wrong," which as other reports have indicated is a great RAWk song live and the false start and subsequent explosion contained in "Paranoid Android." The laid-back atmosphere helped tremendously; the first concert in the Grant Park area proved to be a mighty success in that regard, although the Sun Times reported a few discontent classical music fans who could hear the faint yearning of "Karma Police" nearby (which sounds almost intriguing in a way). The Beta Band put on a good show, but much of the crowd didn't know much other than to bob their heads during "Dry the Rain." Their apropos rant on MTV on their birthday was quite amusing, however. There were just a few negatives: the water policy with only one bottle seemed bad but it was better than nothing, there were a handful of bandwagon fans -- one of whom was wearing booty dance pants -- that were painfully apparent in a sea of somewhat off-kilter and unkempt true fans :-), and the 40s-era jazzy songs irritated much of the crowd in between acts. Deal with it, is what I say. For me, though, the capper was "True Love Waits" in the third encore, introduced as a song that has been around since OK Computer and one they don't know what to do with. Well, for a fan that waited five years to see Radiohead live, the song fit perfectly for that moment.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:32:23

The only word that would sufficiently describe last nights show at Hutchinson Field in Chicago would be the word mesmerizing. Beta Band was unknown to me prior to this evening, but their performance was pleasantly surprising and earned them a new fan in me. I didn't fully appreciate Kid Koala as much as I could have after the Beta Band's performance, but that was because of anticipation of what was to come. The 30,000 or so present in the beautiful setting of downtown Chicago went wild along with me and some friends (who got there at 9:45 in the morning to earn our awesome spot about ten rows of people from the stage in the entirely general admission seating) as Jonny ran out along with the others and began playing the first verses to The National Anthem. I was wondering for the past few months why this song was chosen to start the show, but all questions were answered as everyone went berserk throughout the whole song. Many songs stood out, but there were a few that were unforgettable. Idioteque, Paranoid Android, Talk Show Host, My Iron Lung, Dollars & Cents and Lucky were the ones that stuck in my mind. A few songs that I would have liked to have heard were Exit Music and Nice Dream, but the show was so wonderful that I really didnt miss them. After the performance of Fake Plastic Trees ended the second encore, the crowd wanted more. I was nervous that this was the end (although I was already entirely satisfied with the show and knew that there had been no third encore in Atlanta), but the crowd just kept going wild, and was well rewarded for doing so. Chills went down my spine as Thom slowly walked back on stage alone and said something like "Chicago is a fun place to play, we might have to do this again". And then Thom played "True Love Waits" by himself infront of the world (or so it seemed) and was then joined by the rest of the band to finish off with an amazing performance of "Street Spirit". This was the first concert of Radiohead's that I had attended, and I must say that if every show of theirs is as brilliant and exciting as this one was, they are truly the best band of this time. The drive from St. Louis was well worth it, and I will look forward to the opportunity to hear them live again.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:32:45

Upon hearing of Radioheads North American tour, I decided that in an effort to better my chances of Radiohead perform "True love waits," I would attend as many gigs as I possibly could. Originally I was certain that my trip across the ocean to see the Oxford gig would be the sure thing. However, at a show I nearly did not attend it all happened. It was a quick cheap flight from Philadelphia to Chicago, and my recently broken ankle was not hindering me from seeing Radiohead at all. It all started as usual with Johnny running out on the stage. The most ridicuclous commercial was being broadcast during the intro for "The national anthem." A few songs went by, at what I thought was a pretty typical Radiohead show. Then I knew they were up to something when they played "Permanent Daylight," and a few songs during the initial set that are normally saved for the encore. Then "Lurgee?" Thom was in a particularly humorous mood, with some witty introductions and silly faces into the camera attached to the piano. Thom dedicated "Packt like sardines..." to our president, and anyone that has to sit in traffic everyday. Thom botched the beginning of "Paranoid Android" slightly, but I don't think anyone cared. After playing Pyramid song, he said that the song was for the moon, and added that "I spent this entire New Years Eve looking at the moon, freakin' out!" He came out by himself with an acoutic guitar for the third encore and said "This is a song that has been kicking around since OK Computer, we've never really known what to do with it but this." This has definitely been the best Radiohead gig I have ever been to, but it just seems to get better every time. Radiohead is the glue that holds this world together.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:33:09

Waiting 14 hours in a 105 degree oven was worth the breath-taking experience to come.


We arrived in Grant Park at about 6am and had no idea where to go from there. Of course, the giant stage came into view and we followed that. We came around the backstage area and proceeded to the area where there were already about 50 Radiohead fans already camped. Some arrived at 2:30am. The atmosphere around us was surprisingly uplifting, considering the fact that Chicago was right in the middle of a massive heat warning and the sun was just coming up.


There was a park area with trees across the way, so many of us would take shifts watching the stuff as we basked in what little shade was available. The sun beated down on us until it seemed there was no air to breathe. All the people waiting, including us, brought ample water and food to hold us over and keep us hydrated. A few people brought guitars and a tambourine and soon everyone crowded around them in a Radiohead sing-a-long. Some people had T-shirts with "I Love Radiohead" written on them, while others (like me) improvised by writing "Radiohead" on various body parts.


At this point, it reached about 105 degrees. Various news reporters would come by and interview sweaty fans about the heat and the parks "no outside water" policy. We were told that there would be no water of our own to be brought into the park. Instead, there would be water on sale for 4 dollars! The news helped us get the park to let us bring in a least 1 bottle. To our amazement, they decided to let us in at 1:30, instead of 4. Since no one expected to be moving, everyone abandoned their things. I threw away a blanket, 10 bottles of water, an umbrella and others thinking we were going into the park at that moment. Instead, they let us into a holding area right infront of the gates where we all were ordered to sit like children into sections depending on the spot in line. I was about 2 people from the front when I heard the most beautiful sound: Jonny's guitar strumming chords to Lurgee. Radiohead was soundchecking about 40 feet away from us! All the fans cheered as Radiohead performed a kind of mini-concert. They played parts of Lurgee, Optimistic, the Tourist, Like Spinning Plates, Knives Out, Idioteque, and another song I had never heard before. The fans sang along every word and applauded after every song.


About 3 hours waiting in direct sunlight and little to no water (since everyone threw away their ample water supple due to misinformation), they started to search our bags and set up metal detectors. Some people began to pass out from heat and were taken away by paramedics. Surprisingly, my excitement about the show helped me forget about the intense temperature. Then, the gates opened. Everyone ran toward the stage despite the many park employees yelling to walk. Finally...I took my place in the audience in the fourth row! I could see pieces of Johnny's setup and was in direct sight of Thom's mic. I couldn't believe it. The excitement soon wore away as we were packed together for another 3 hours with no water. They eventually took a fire hose to us about 3 times. Many people wee just sitting down with their heads bowed. Everyone had this glaze of sweat and water over their faces.


Finally, after hours of listening to dance, barbershop and jazz music over the speakers...the Beta Band took the stage. I had never listened to them, but heard that they rocked. They were dressed in 80's attire and the lead singer frequently had conversations with the audience. When he asked "How are you?" Many people answered with "hot" or "water!" He then yelled to the guys in charge of the hose and told them to "get them fucking water, howd you like to be in there!" They sounded awesome with the funky bass grooves and the DJ/keboardist had a ton of energy as he jumped and sang along. The lead singer and bass player often changed instruments. The highlight of the performance was "She's the One for Me" as the singer changed to percussion and the bassist changed to accoustic guitar. I was very entertained by them. Another highlight was that if I stood on my toes, I could see Colin enjoying the performance from backstage.

At this point I lost track of time from the adrenaline from my stomach churning knowing that Radiohead would soon be onstage 5-10 feet in front of me. I had heard that Radiohead's set up requires a lot of time and that they would go on at night. Kid Koala then took the stage as the roadies set up for the headliners. I am not a fan of DJ's or dance music in general, but I enjoyed him. He was a little guy who was always smiling and dancing. He also sampled "Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors" and "Fitter Happier" which obviously won over the crowd real fast.

For what seemed like 15 minutes after Kid Koala finished, Jonny ran onstage and picked up his transistor radio/TV instrument thing followed by the rest of the band and began "The National Anthem". The crowd went nuts. I began to cry as I realized how close Thom and Jonny were to me. Colin's distorted bass was over-powering as Thom sang. It seemed shorter than usual, but awesome. Thom immediately then sat at the organ and announced "Morning Bell". I couldn't believe I was watching this live after so many times listening to it and seeing the Canal+ performance. The crowd sang along to "everyone wants to be her friend, everyone wants to meet her". Phil's 5/4 drumming was impeccable as Jonny cut in with his guitar. Radiohead then tuned their guitars down and began "My Iron Lung". Jonny was dancing and swinging his hips to the guitar solos and seemed to stomp on his petals. This was the first song that I noticed the amazing lighting. Then came "Karma Police" and "Knives Out" with the entire audience singing in unison back at Thom. I thought Thom was in a bad mood at first because they were flying through the first 8 songs and he wasn't saying much. After an awesome "Permanent Daylight" and "Optimistic", it was very clear Thom was having a good time. I was able to make eye contact with him and he flashed a brilliant smile. "How to Disappear Completely" was next as the lights dimmed to a beautiful blue. I then called my answering machine with my cell and left a message during "I'm not here, this isn't happening" because it was such a surreal moment. I also cried during this one! "Dollars and Cents" was, by far, one of the best songs last night. The lights were blue with white chasing lights lining the back of the stage during the verses and during "quiet down", they became so intense it was blinding. The funny thing about it was that Ed screwed up the harmony on "you never go out and you never stay" and Thom and him looked at each other funny and laughed. Ed didn't come in the next time. The band seemed so into it. The wind blew through Ed's hair as he played making him look like a god. After that, Jonny took his place at the bells and I knew what was next, "No Surprises". This was another audience sing-a-long. "Packt Like Sardines" was after, another highlight song of the night. Radiohead seemed like they were playing another song completely as they pushed the tempo, and distorted the bass line with this dirty sound and Thom grabbed his tambourine and swayed with the music singing "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case". "Talk Show Host" brought the house down with orange lights as Thom beat his guitar strings. The most beautiful song of the night, "Pyramid Song", began with Thom taking his place at the piano with his back to the audience. The lights went to blue and Thom dedicated it to the full moon behind us. Colin had the stand up bass and scratched the strings down the neck creating the eerie sounds. The wind picked up and blew the silk screen behind the stage, revealing the beautiful Chicago skyline. Truly breath-taking. Then came my 2 favorite songs back-to-back, "Paranoid Android" and "Idioteque". Thom dedicated "Paranoid Android" to President Bush and "For anyone who goes a little crazy under the moon". The intro was fine and Thom stopped the song because he started on the wrong word. He said would instead of could I guess. Everyone laughed as Thom faked the beeping noise from the album version and started over. "Idioteque" drove the crowd into a frenzy. Something happened with the drum machine and they carried on anyway. During the dance break Thom went nuts. Every limb on his body was gyrating. Colin was jumping up and down as if he was doing a work-out video when he wasn't playing the keyboard. It was great. The closer, "Everything in its Right Place" was amazing. I was a bit skeptical about it because I wasn't sure how it would fit as a closer, but my worries were laid to rest after the first chord. Thom sang it brilliantly and Jonny came in with guitar licks. As the band played, Thom grabbed the mic with a big smile and held it out to the crowd on the right side as we all screamed as loud as we could. Then, he went to the left and did the same pretending he couldn't hear us. He then walked offstage followed by everyone but Jonny, who stayed and played the end. He then waved and left.

We cheered until our throats bled and our hands were raw. I had heard the guy behind me chanting "True Love Waits" constantly, knowing how beautiful the song was, I joined him. We chanted it over and over until the band came back for the first encore. Thom thanked us and said "This is a song off...Pab...what was that album called again?" We went crazy as they went into "Lurgee". I had a feeling they would play that one since it was performed at the soundcheck. Jonny seemed bored with that one though. Following that was a fabulous "I Might Be Wrong" as Thom beated the tambourine. "Climbing Up the Walls" was kick ass, and the lights went crazy. Thom screamed into the soundhole in his acoustic for the end. "You and Whose Army" was beautiful. It was during this song that I noticed the giant screen. I was close, so I didn't even see the screen until I saw Thom's head swaying back and forth. His back was to us, and there was a camera on the piano showing the audience his face as he closed his eyes and drowned himself into the music. The band left again and we all screamed and clapped. Again, the kid behind me and I went into another "True Love Waits" chant. Radiohead came running out again beginning with Ed as he clapped his hands at us. Thom pretended he couldn't hear us as we screamed louder. He had us put our hands into the air and Phil began "Lucky". Then they went into "Fake Plastic Trees" and the whole crowd of 25,000 seemed to know every word. Thom smiled as he said "it wears me out". As the band left again I was sad. I knew that they usually do only 2 encores, but I noticed that the lights didn't go out yet. I stayed and chanted "True Love Waits" again and clapped because my voice was starting to go out. To my amazement, Thom returned to the stage alone with an acoustic guitar. He looked right at us and announced "True Love Waits". His voice was the most beautiful I had ever heard it. It resonated off the city buildings. Every time he sand "don't leave" I would think how badly I wanted them to stay. As it ended, the whole band returned to the stage and went into "Street Spirit". Yet another gorgeous piece of music, and perfect end to the perfect night. My dream came true and it will forever haunt all my days.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:44:18

What an excellent day for an excellent show! The weather was a bit hot during the Beta Band and DJ Koala performances, but when Radiohead came on and the sun went down... it turned out to be a superb night for listening to the best band in all the world. It seemed as if Radiohead kept gaining momentum all night long; got the crowd really going with Karma Police 3rd on the set list as well as Idioteque and Paranoid Android further down the line. Thom was quite hilarious with remarks about the (lack of) intelligence of our president, and also showed some humility as he really played the camera that was placed next to the microphone on his piano. No suprises (haha) that Pablo Honey wasn't prevelent, only 1 or 2 songs I think. One shocker though... no Exit Music. A bit disappointing, but nothing I couldn't handle... Radiohead is awesome no matter what.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:44:29

Well, the night that I have been dreaming about for so long now has come and gone. And what a night it was. On August 1, I experienced the best two and a half hours of my life. (Now this either means my life is pretty pathetic, or that Radiohead is simply amazing. I prefer to think the latter.) The show was amazing. The whole time I felt like I was in a dream, and even now I can only remember bits and pieces of it, as you would a dream. Thom was wonderful. He seemed very enthusiastic, almost playful at times. He performed fantastically. One of my favorite parts was when he was singing DOLLARS AND CENTS when he sang "...gonna *crack!* your little souls". Each time he sang the word crack, it seriously sounded more and more like he was cracking a whip. It was awesome. I had a pretty good view of Thom, but couldn't really see the others. I really wanted to watch Jonny play, but from little I did see, he was amazing, as always. All the band members did a terrific job and had good energy and kept the crowd going. Of course, PARANOID and IDIOTEQUE were incredible. One of my favorites was TRUE LOVE WAITS...I was so happy when Thom started playing that. PACKT LIKE SARDINES was also much better live. The whole show was mind-blowing. The light show was awesome and added so much more to it. I am completely obsessed with Radiohead and this was an experience I wouldn't give up for anything. This is one band you have to see live. They are incredible. It was a fabulous show.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:44:45

to say the least, every Radiohead song has the capability of personal transformation, or to amplify moments. The intellect behind the numerous meanings of every song, forces the creation and/or experience of newly born ideas and/ or expansion of old ones. in other words, a wake up call to make life even better by thinking, feeling, and relating. that level of enjoyment can always be experienced when listening to their music as all Radioheadittes heard last nite in chicago.

after they finished their first encore, it became quite evident as to what this tour is all about: enjoyment of the highest level, consisting of pure intense goodness. Radiohead is creating fun by relishing every moment and playing for the sole purpose to please their true fans. the tour is for us, completely opposite to the miniscule Kid A tour when the music industry took over ticket distribution.

even the midwest humidity could not shake Radioheads' mood this nite and after the boys rocked through the first five guitar driven songs(National Anthem, Morning Bell, Iron Lung, Karma cops, and Knives Out)....they couldn't have been happier. as the dancing & singing ceased after the fifth song, the group took a break to see how everybody was doing. Colin?s seemed the most winded since his bass playing during those songs most likely caused him to lose 15 pounds of water weight. when he looked up at Phil, all he could do was laugh it off and shake his head saying, "man it's fucking hot out here."

one song later, after Thom finished Permanent Daylight, w/ sweet dripping from his forehead, he asked the crowd "have we lost you yet?" no, never Thom! neither heat, nor snow, or hurricane...Radiohead could play in Antarctica and they would have a descent turnout b/c of their purpose/ideals/values.

what also occurred during the 1st encore was extremely shocking and the best moment of the nite. whether under their own desire or with a little guidance from bono, Radiohead is turning back the clock and playing their roots. 2 weeks ago they blasted Creep in south park, ireland and then last nite trk 11 from Pablo Honey! The song was Lurgee: "I got better, I got strong" That possible could be a defining moment of the 2nd leg of the tour. It?s an excellent idea for Radiohead to integrate a few songs from that disc b/c Pablo Honey has never received the recognition that it deserves.

I rediscovered that album by stumbling onto an interesting process about a month after the Kid A show at roseland last october...afterwards, I was kissing the sky. I began to play a few trks from Kid A, then decided to change it up and listen to all of the Pablo Honey disk. what a treat...what a difference! how awesome both disks are! I encourage all Radioheadittes to try it. it is a disc meant to be played loud so the realization will strike that all of the elements of the group are present, but muffled. this disk is just the beginning steps of the idea turned reality of bill and Ted?s "Wild Stallions."

to finish, another excellent moment came somewhere in the middle of the show when Radiohead deviated from the standard 3-2 arrangement: Thom in the center, Jonny and Ed flanking him with Colin and Phil backing them up. It happened subtly as Thom and Ed held their positions and Jonny went over and played in between them. seeing the three of them bunched together with their guitars and Jonny in the center was the coolest sight.. (if the girl who I told to take a picture is reading this or if any of her friends are, please tell her to contact me, or if anybody else has a shot of that...I would love it... Much Obliged)

the next shows are going to be something else...I expect to hear Blowout -- one of Jonnys earlier favorites. everybody keep chillin.

Submitted on: MAY 24, 2003 17:45:05

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