The Frank Erwin Center invited Radiohead and Other Lives to Austin on March 7th, treating everyone in the sold out audience to what felt like a pre-SXSW high. Not that this concert had anything to do with this year’s festivities, but what better time to get ready for a marathon of live music than starting with one of the best live bands in the world?

Oklahoma band Other Lives set the mood as the opening act, bringing a somber but theatrical presence to the massive venue. Very clearly influenced by the headliner, what set OL apart was the band’s earnest, twangy folk and its use of cellist Jenny Hsu during its song’s crescendos and resolutions. Though both bands draw heavily from classical music, OL has more of a direct line to the genre’s delicate properties. It was a very fitting way to cleanse the audience’s palate for the polyrhythmic density that Radiohead unleashed with its first song of the night, the jarring, mesmerizing “Bloom”.

Now featuring Portishead’s Clive Deamer on another set of drums, Radiohead’s live show is seemingly unstoppable. Blasting through tracks off of their latest album with little banter in the beginning, Thom Yorke went off script later into the show when he donned a southern accent and declared, “s’aaaaall good” to a pleased crowd. He went on to dedicate “Arpeggi/Weird Fishes” to the weird fishes of Austin, citing his adoration of the city’s long celebrated slogan: Keep Austin Weird.

We were treated to a brand new song, “Identikit”, that featured more prominent vocals from guitarist Ed O’Brien than usual, acting as a counterpoint to Yorke’s soft, drifting lead. The laid back electronic beat, noodling guitars and synthy bridge made the song one of the night’s highlights. Although mostly sticking to newer material, the band reached back to Kid A and Amnesiac at points, using “You And Whose Army?” as an opportunity to stylistically broadcast Yorke’s face across a series of floating screens above the stage. After two encores and 22 songs, we thought we had reached the end, only to be treated to “Paranoid Android” from OK Computer. Although the whole performance was incredible as expected, Jonny Greenwood’s blistering solo in “Paranoid Android” simply made us remember why Radiohead is still one of the best live rock acts in the world.


01 Bloom
02 Little By Little
03 The Daily Mail
04 Morning Mr. Magpie
05 Myxomatosis
06 The Gloaming
07 Kid A
08 The National Anthem
09 Reckoner
10 Arpeggi/Weird Fishes
11 Nude
12 Identikit
13 Lotus Flower
14 There There
15 Feral
16 Idioteque

17 Separator
18 These Are My Twisted Words
19 Bodysnatchers
20 Everything In Its Right Place

21 Give Up The Ghost
22 You And Whose Army?
23 Paranoid Android

– Submitted by John Parsons, Music Design