Friday, March 09, 2012

Radiohead

So on Wednesday night we went to see Radiohead.
Radiohead is way cool.  They have a really unique sound.  Many people have tried to imitate them, but the other bands are always a couple of steps behind.  Their music isn't always easily accessible, but it blends electronic and acoustic instruments together in really interesting ways, always keeping an eye toward songwriting and emotional resonance.  They have a lot of different instruments and gadgets on stage with them, but I always feel like the sounds and the effects are well utilized in service to the tunes as opposed to some other bands that put technology and gimmickry before songwriting.
All of that being said, Radiohead isn't always easy to listen to.  They have a lot of noise and sounds in their music, but, like I said, it almost always serves a purpose.  Static and clicks morph into driving rhythms.  Screeching feedback resolves into haunting, beautiful melodies.  Songs appear within songs.  The lyrics conjure themes of alienation and confusion, and for a generation of fans who have come of age during an era when digital communication has supplanted many traditional forms of social interaction, the technology infused music drives the lyrical themes home. 
For listeners who are willing to spend the time to really listen, Radiohead is a richly rewarding band.
At any rate, the show was good.  Radiohead creates extremely well produced, complex studio albums, but they also do a great job of recreating their sound live on stage without relying too much on clicktracks or samples (those things are present at moments, but the band is willing to drag whatever instruments and gadgets they need onto the stage in order to recreate their songs without relying heavily on prerecorded material).
So really good show.  I had a good time with Amy and my friend, Ken, who joined us (Ken did not get a photo because Ken showed up later, right before it got dark). 
The Erwin Center still isn't my all time favorite music venue (it's just an old school arena with the usual echoey acoustics), but the concert sounded decent, and  Radiohead had a lights show that took advantage of the arena setting and kept things lookin' cool.
Anyway, good concert.  I remain convinced that Radiohead is a band that remains symbolic of its time.

No comments: