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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

concert review

Radiohead - Barcelona - June - 2000

The British band Radiohead visited Barcelona again, during their latest tour that includes several cities and in which concerts are held mainly in small theatres, as an introduction to their fourth studio recording "Kid A". The concert was long awaited and it was proved by the fact that the entrances were sold out in less than two days.

The opening act was Laika, a band I that I’d heard of but whose music was completely unknown to me. The truth is that I was surprised, their music is based on hypnotic and psychedelic electronic sonorities.

Once Laika’s performance was over, there were some "clever" guys, whose seats must have been at the back, trying to place themselves in front of the stage just as if they were at the Zeleste concert hall, and all that in front of the security agents and the angst of all those privileged ones whose seats were in the first rows (including me!). Well, it was after some people complained that we had a long wait (I still don't understand why) to hear that the superiors had agreed to take away all those "clever" ones.

And the main band appeared on stage. Radiohead performed 20 songs: seven of them from the long acclaimed "OK computer": "Karma Police", "Non Surprises", "Climbing Up The Walls", "Lucky", "Exit music", "Airbag" and "Paranoid Android"; four tracks from their previous record, "The Bends": "Bones", "Street Spirit", "My Iron Lung", "Just"; one song from their first album, "Pablo Honey": "Lurgee"; and a B side "Talk Show Host". The band delighted us with seven new tracks: "Optimistic", "Morning Bell", "How to Disappear", "The National Anthem", "Knives Out", "Egyptian Song" and "Everything In Its Right Place". The stage performance was just brilliant, the show also included some violet, red and blue lights and the columns were even part of the decoration. The new songs sound less atmospheric and more experimental than those of "OK computer", but I think that it will be necessary to listen to the new album in order to hear them better.

One strange thing that happened during the concert was that, when started playing "Planet Télex", one of the keyboards didn't work and they decided not to play atoned went straight to the following song. It was also a reason why they ended up performing two other songs in a different way: "Exit music" and "Paranoid Android". They also use the same keyboard on those themes!

At the end of the last song and before the encores, "Everything in its right place", keyboard player/guitarist Jonny Greenwood sampled a part sung by Thom Yorke and left it going on and on. At that moment the singer sat down at the border of the stage looking at the public with a face of astonishment, as if saying how boring you are! Just sitting there!... until he jumped off the stage in order to walk down the corridors of the Teatro Tívoli. The fans were taken by surprise and it took them some seconds to react before they started following Thom as the band kept on playing.

Some people took advantage of that situation and started to get up in order to get closer to the stage. When the singer finally returned for the encores, there was no longer anyone able to send everybody back to their seats, and all those privileged ones at the first rows had nothing else to do than to get up. Then, the last four tracks were cheered by all unconditional fans as if they were at the Zeleste concert hall. After that, the band left and no more songs were played, despite the public’s response.

As a negative point, I would like to mention the volume, the sound was so high that I should consider bringing ear plugs for the next concert...

Finally, I would like to talk about a point that I didn’t understand: bassist Ed O'Brien‘s comments on the concert. He assured that the public’s behavior at the beginning of the concert was a bit strange, with all those people stuck to their seats and going wild only during the encores, and that the Teatro Tívoli was the most anti-rock'n'roll of all places in which he had ever played, excessively decorated. Then, I wonder why their tour dates are held in theatres with reserved seats and not in more conventional concert halls...

Jordi Torras - July 2000


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