The weather could not have been much nicer for a June evening in Cincinnati. The air was crisp and resembeled a early fall night, rather than the humidity we are used to during a Midwest summer. The crowd was anxious but reserved, waiting for a band that had eluded many for years. Radiohead has never played a show in Cincinnati, but here they were, ready to take the stage to the delight of thousands at Riverbend.
They played with the attitude a of a band that has released records for nearly twenty years, toured to all corners of the globe, won Grammys and risen to the top of many fans lists of ‘best band in the world.’ The setlist leaned towards newer albums, taking plenty from King Of Limbs and In Rainbows, plenty of great sounding new songs like “The Daily Mail” and “Identikit”, along with a dash of nostalgia from the early years. It wasn’t too long, too short and the people (in my area at least) weren’t too annoying.
So why did I leave the show last night feeling like it was somewhat forgettable?
It could be that I’m getting old, and jaded after plenty of great concert experiences. It could be that unless something truly “special” happens on stage, I’m not wowed. Or it could be that the consistency of Radiohead, the predictability of the band, just fell a bit flat for me last night. Let’s face it, you don’t go to a Radiohead show and expect to see an epic guitar solo, you don’t expect Thom Yorke to stage dive into the crowd, you don’t expect Phil Selway to tear his shirt off or Jonny Greenwood to coax the first row for high fives. You expect Radiohead, who puts off an air of cool that can’t be taught, but also isn’t exactly riveting. Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers was in attendance, and I couldn’t help but look back at him several times and wonder if the whole thing bored him.
I know I’m splitting hairs here, but I’m just trying to describe that feeling I got last night on the way home, when I was honestly more excited about this picture than I was about the show. And the show was really, really good!
So call me jaded, call me crazy or just call me confused, but ask yourself if you didn’t feel the same way as you made your way home last night.