Expectations are a motherfucker. When I wrote "Don’t like The King of Limbs? Listen to it in a year and deny its brilliance," I was trying to convince myself as much as I was you guys. And as much as I like listening to King of Limbs while speeding through a city highway at night, I don't much like hearing it in concert, no matter how well it's executed (and it was executed supremely).
"I definitely saw a lot of people yawning and dancing," said the always on-point Andrew Matson. (Press people are generally given seats together at big shows.) "Airbag" was the highlight, and it came early on. Thing is, if you write some of the greatest compositions of the twentieth century, and then later get all experimental and stop writing "hits," people are going to want to hear the hits, and I won't lie, I was one of them.
All that said, Radiohead were skilled professionals on stage. Everything sounded spot on. Throughout, Thom Yorke was shaking his shit like Clive Deamer told Trent he does. Also, I can confirm, unfortunately, that he was sporting a ponytail. And a vest. Johnny Greenwood was hunched over his guitar like Lurch from the Adams Family. The two bald drummers did look like radar dishes, and Colin Greenwood was jumping around back there, in between, like the control station. The sound at Key is not the sound at the Paramount, but the collective high of seeing a band that you and 13,000 other people love somewhat made up for most of it. The lighting show was amazing, affording something for even the nosebleeds. Weed smoke lofted throughout the show, and although I stopped smoking weed a month ago for medical reasons, I WANTED TO BE STONED SO BAD. By "The Gloaming," everyone was in a trance. Even though there weren't enough "hits," Radiohead's mission was successful. I just hope on the next record they pull some sort of return to form and then come to Seattle again.
Things I heard outside after the show:
Guy: "I wish they had a bathroom out here." Other guy: "The world is the bathroom."
Woman in high heels pointing at the Space Needle: "Take me up there right now!"
Farther on, cabs were sparser than a seat at the 5 Point, but you'd rather be at Funhouse anyway.