Sunday, October 07, 2012

Radiohead@Manchester MEN Arena

People who know no better think they know all about Radiohead fans. They're a bit too serious, male,  geeky and over forty, right ? A lot like Stan in fact.

I actually found reassuringly few like me at the MEN arena last night - lots of singing and insanely bad dancing among the mostly student-y audience. Although, I did spot one balding guy with a beard and a battered now-undersized "The Bends" t-shirt who could have made a living as a body double for The Comic Book guy in The Simpsons.

While I was out, Stanetta asked Mrs Stan when the heyday of Radiohead was. With most bands you could sensibly answer this question with a date and sometimes even a time. With Radiohead, even though their biggest selling album was released in 1997, you can't actually say that the last 15 years has been any kind of decline.

Because here they are - on a world tour, playing new material to packed out mega venues full of people who were probably being breast-fed in 1997.

It was a good mix of material - the best pieces from the most recent album,  a couple of classic goosebumps numbers and even "Planet Telex" from 1995 to keep The Comic Book Guy happy.

The show was professional, as warm and intimate as you get in a venue the size of the MEN arena (largest indoor arena in the European Union), and moved along at a fair lick. The technology on display was stunning and incorporated a couple of dozen large screens that gave you a variety of quirky close-ups of the band that were performing in the far distance.

One or two too many random B-sides though - I sneaked off for a toilet break during "These Are My Twisted Words" and found almost as many people outside the hall as inside it.   If you don't think it's good enough to make it onto an album, why bother with it in concert ?

That minor issue aside, I had a great time and if you've got tickets for the shows at the O2 next week you'll have a blast. The set list from the Manchester gig is here - I don't imagine they'll stray too far from that.

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