NPR (National Public Radio) - All Songs Considered Live Concert Series has been one of the best things out there for new bands as well as established artists. The series has featured Tom Waits, Swell Season, The Frams, The Ting Tings, The National, Arcade Fire, Neko Case, Wilco, The Black Keys and many other artists of all types of music. It's a wonderful series that many are also podcasted as well as you can hear them online today at NPR: All Songs Considered Live Concerts.
This weeks concert was a big surprise for me. It was Radiohead, live at The Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA. It's a beautiful outdoor venue with views of the ocean and a fantastic place to see a show if you are in the area. The concert was performed on August 28th, 2008 and was the finishing touch to their American concert tour. They played a few festivals along the way and many outdoor venues. Now they head off to Japan and the Far East.
Radiohead as a band started off in Oxfordshire in 1986. They started off at Abingdon School with Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway all attending som ein different class years. They initially formed a band called "On a Friday" referring to the day they rehearsed at school. They played some gigs in Oxfordshire and as a few of the members moved on to College, they remained playing together on weekends. In 1991 they all finished college and started working on demos.
They signed their first record deal with EMI in 1991, a 6 record deal, and changed their name to Radiohead. At first they didn't get raidio time because BBC Radio 1 felt that their music was too depressing. They started to work with new producers to get a bit of a change and in 1992 released the song "Creep". The album Pablo Honey was released in February of 1993 and Radiohead began to build a bit of a fan base. It was the 1994 album "The Bends" that really gave them the popularity in music. From that point on they have gained popularity all over the world and put out a couple of great albums including Amnesiac, OK Computer, Kid A and Hail to the Theif.
After a small break in playing Radiohead decided to release their next album independently and under a "pay what you feel is right" setting. The Album In Rainbows was released on October 10, 2007 and was downloaded 1.2 million time on the day they released it on their website. It was a new concept to basically give the album away as many people didn't offer to pay that much for it. I felt it was worth giving them £5 since that is the going rate in the US for a digital download. They did release a physical cd format of "In Rainbows" in December of 2007 and began an extensive tour of the world.
So giving you a little background on the band for those who don't know much about them. It's hard to describe Radiohead's style of music. Live especially, they can go on these long jams of music and they just blend well togetherwith what they do. I wouldn't call it experimental, but it's not like a lot of other bands out there and a lot of other bands have tried to create a style like Radiohead. This would include some of Coldplay's music. I think they have openly said that they have been influenced by Radiohead.
I wasn't at the show at The Santa Barbara Bowl, but I felt like I was there listening to this one on NPR. I didn't realize it, but they did webcast the whole show on their website as well, but with the Podcast available for download, you can listen to this audio performance over and over. The show was 25 songs and a really nice setlist (see below). It was quite nice kicking back listening to the show at the house. To me Radiohead is one of those bands that you want to see live sitting in a big lounge chain with a beer in your hand. .
The flow of the show was nice with some great tunes played like Optimistic, Nude, National Anthem, Karma Police, Paranoid Android, Faust Arp and many others. Thom York sounds pretty relaxed playing live. Their studio work has always been pretty cool stuff and they sound pretty good live as well. They certainly create some new versions or jams to certain songs when they are live.
To hear this show streaming and see the setlist and review go to Radiohead Live at The Santa Barbara Bowl NPR:ASC Concerts. You can always get a copy at NPR or through iTunes as well in the podcast section.
I would certainly recommend getting this one as you will then have it to listen to over and over if you are a big fan. From time to time I will review other shows like this that I watched or listened to on the web or radio.
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