Radiohead return with another spectacle at Comcast

A review of Radiohead at the Comcast Center on May 29, 2012

, Managing Editor

Radiohead, one of the world’s premiere live acts, and one of the most celebrated alt rock acts of all time have returned to the road after a nearly four year layoff. The band was graciously welcomed back by a nearly sold-out crowd at the Comcast Center on Tuesday night.

This time around things are a little different for Radiohead as the band is accustomed to basically taking over the world whenever they release an album. However, with their latest effort, The King of Limbs focused more on rhythm and dominated by softer tones, the work hasn’t caught on in the fervent manner that nearly all their previously releases have. This was surely evidenced by the fact that their gig at Comcast was not sold out well in advance of the show, as has been custom in years past. Still, Radiohead have never been a band to let anything change their approach, and they’re certainly not ones to dwell on the past, as they delivered a set consisting of largely new or recent material.

No one gets away with not playing the hits as much as Radiohead does, but there’s surely reason for it. Besides their expertly clean sound, the band also pairs their performances together with stunning light shows, this time produced via twelve hanging square screens flanked by a giant video screen backdrop, while frontman Thom Yorke spices up nearly every song with his wiggly dance moves. Although, with all his dancing, at times it appeared Yorke was enjoying some songs more than anybody else, as was this case with new tune “Staircase””

Thanks to Radiohead’s extra focus on rhythm they’ve enlisted Clive Dreamer to join the band on tour as a second percussionist, filling out the rhythm section anchored by Phil Selway and bassist Colin Greenwood. Meanwhile, the guys up front: Yorke, Ed O’Brien, and Jonny Greenwood, spent the evening continuously switching between guitars and keyboards, and at times even drums, as O’Brien and Greenwood boosted the power of “There, There” with added percussion.

Returning for two encores, the band gave fans a taste of some greatest hits with “Lucky”, “The National Anthem” and “Everything In Its Right Place” appearing before they ended the show on a more gentle note, with Yorke’s beautiful falsetto on “Reckoner”.

Although The King of Limbs may not have Radiohead on top of the world, their performance in Mansfield proved that this is certainly a band that still has legs.

1.  Bloom
2.  15 Step
3.  Airbag
4.  Staircase
5.  The Daily Mail
6.  Myxomatosis
7.  The Gloaming
8.  Separator
9.  Pyramid Song
10. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
11. Morning Mr. Magpie
12. Identikit
13. Lotus Flower
14. There There
15. Feral
16. Idioteque
Encore 1
17. Supercollider
18. The National Anthem
19. Lucky
20. Everything In Its Right Place
Encore 2

21. Give Up the Ghost
22. Bodysnatchers
23. Reckoner


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