Outside Lands: Radiohead Kills It Despite Some Sound Problems

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Radiohead @ Outside Lands

The anticipation for the Radiohead headlining set at today’s Outside Lands festival was clearly in the air and on the minds of everyone in the crowd today, and I think that’s why I felt the entire crowd freak out with me when the first or two major sound outages occurred early in the set. The second one occurred a few songs later. And it was insanely strange because it (seemingly) wasn’t a power outage because the lights stayed on the band kept playing. But there was absolutely zero sound coming from the PA, and we’re not talking about just one or two seconds. We’re talking about what felt like an eternity, although I’m sure neither one lasted more than a minute. Wait, think about that. That’s insane.

In all my years as a concertgoer, I’ve never seen that happen.

The band seemingly didn’t notice at the time and continued the songs but Thom Yorke made mention of the problems on each occasion. The band truly delivered during their set despite the problems — not that anyone expected that they wouldn’t — which started with “15 Step,” and ended with “Everything In Its Right Place,” a truly captivating performance front to back. At times I found so amazed at how quiet the crowd became; the band seriously had everyone just awestruck and it was truly a sight to behold. This band might be the best band in the world right now and I don’t think we’re going to see a close second anytime soon, especially in the live arena. Well okay, maybe My Morning Jacket now and Phish if they come back strong in the future.

Still, Radiohead was just untouchable tonight (again, even with the sound problems). So untouchable, that the tour buses for the band took off (with police escort) before the final notes of the encore finale were faded out by the soundman. A police escort would have been nice out of there. I guess I should just be thankful I found a cab.

  • Diddly Squat

    Phish? HaHaHaHa. Morning Jacket? Pffft.
    Nice.

  • Diddly Squat

    Phish? HaHaHaHa. Morning Jacket? Pffft.
    Nice.

  • creak freak

    Jerry G tribute at the Greek a couple of years ago…Trey playing Franklin’s…pa outage…Dead at Henry J (?) a few years ago…It happens…But this was too big a show for them to blow the headliner’s sound. On the flip side, the sound quality wasn’t bad (for this venue) when it actually worked and Radiohead…what more can you say…they are truly from the mold of brit prog rock greats of years past…without the dinosaur trappings.

  • Katy Morrison

    I was at the show, too, and heard from the crew backstage that there was a power outage at the console, but that the speakers were fine. I agree that they sounded amazing – the sound quality was great overall, especially for an outdoor show!

  • Katy Morrison

    I was at the show, too, and heard from the crew backstage that there was a power outage at the console, but that the speakers were fine. I agree that they sounded amazing – the sound quality was great overall, especially for an outdoor show!

  • http://www.burningoak.com Kane from BurningOak.com

    From the SF Chronicle review:
    (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/25/DDFU12HOOP.DTL&type;=music)

    “They don’t dance.” Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, attending the event as a civilian, watched the cerebral Radiohead performance from the soundboard Friday night and was amazed by the reverential audience. “They don’t dance,” he observed.

  • http://www.burningoak.com Kane from BurningOak.com

    From the SF Chronicle review:
    (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/25/DDFU12HOOP.DTL&type=music)

    “They don’t dance.” Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, attending the event as a civilian, watched the cerebral Radiohead performance from the soundboard Friday night and was amazed by the reverential audience. “They don’t dance,” he observed.

  • http://myspace.com/markjonesart Mark Jones

    “…and it was insanely strange because it (seemingly) wasn’t a power outage because the lights stayed on the band kept playing. But there was absolutely zero sound coming from the PA…”

    Sound systems and lighting gear are run on different power sources (generators). fyi.

  • http://myspace.com/markjonesart Mark Jones

    “…and it was insanely strange because it (seemingly) wasn’t a power outage because the lights stayed on the band kept playing. But there was absolutely zero sound coming from the PA…”

    Sound systems and lighting gear are run on different power sources (generators). fyi.

  • steve

    i’ve never been at a show with 60,000 people which felt so intimate. This a testament to radiohead and the incredible artistry of the sound/light/video production. It was somehow grand, dreamy and touchingly personal at the same time. Yeah the sound going out was a buzzkill, the fest was a clusterf$%@ at times but Radiohead made it worthwhile. I must say as sober as me and my friends were we were transported. beautiful. I’m a new fan.

  • steve

    i’ve never been at a show with 60,000 people which felt so intimate. This a testament to radiohead and the incredible artistry of the sound/light/video production. It was somehow grand, dreamy and touchingly personal at the same time. Yeah the sound going out was a buzzkill\, the fest was a clusterf$%@ at times but Radiohead made it worthwhile. I must say as sober as me and my friends were we were transported. beautiful. I’m a new fan.

  • creak freak

    Jerry G tribute at the Greek a couple of years ago…Trey playing Franklin's…pa outage…Dead at Henry J (?) a few years ago…It happens…But this was too big a show for them to blow the headliner's sound. On the flip side, the sound quality wasn't bad (for this venue) when it actually worked and Radiohead…what more can you say…they are truly from the mold of brit prog rock greats of years past…without the dinosaur trappings.