In one of the most anticipated shows in Middle Tennessee in the past decade, Radiohead electrified Bonnaroo 2006 on Saturday night.
The night began with the subdued, but driving, “There There.” The set creeped into the opener of that same record, Hail to the Thief, which starts calmly, but kicks in with a force which makes the field absolutely explode.
After a few new pieces, “we escaped” into the beautiful guitar strums of “Exit Music (For a Film),” which got involved in the song’s slow and deliberate climb into intense, dirty bass-filled symphonic ecstacy.
The band’s set, a 28-song journey full of peaks and valleys, included half a dozen unreleased songs, featuring complex rhythms and even more experimental electronics. The Brits played a great mix of their material, with multiple songs from each record except their first, Pablo Honey. They are a much different group of musicians now than they were then, though.
Radiohead truly evolves into an entirely different animal from record to record.
Likewise, Bonnaroo evolves into a different environment each year, always bringing a variety of music enough to please the most discriminating of music fans.
And a noticeably different crowd each time around; for the most part, the group captivated by Radiohead on this beautiful summer night are not the jam band fans of the early ’Roos.
No matter who you were, if you were there as the show touched down with “Karma Police” you “lost yourself” in the choir of dedicated fans.
The crowd singing along during the end of this song as the band faded away filled the night air with a magic that impressed some first-time Radiohead concert-goers.
The show didn’t even end there, though. After an unfamiliar encore, the warm keyboard sound let everyone know the opener from Kid A was coming.
Who knows when Radiohead may come nearby again, it could be another decade. Whenever it is, though, be there.