one faint deluded smile

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Radiohead - Sydney - 23/04/2004

Back up in the bleachers and to the side is not the perfect sound position in the entertainment centre, let me tell you. The Radiohead techos even take it a little bit further by not having any part of the PA speakers pointed towards the side - I can understand that they wouldn't want to have too much echoing around the room but some consideration needs to be given to the 1/8 of the punters who are in these god awful seats.

So the drums sounded weak and inefectual all night and the vocals were there but hardly springing out of the general murk. Only the bass seemed to work well intermittently. On one song there was the standard Radiohead uplifting moment when all three electric guitars combined with the bass and the drums on a downbeat with a massive power chord! I expect that the people down the front were blown away by the sheer visceral pleasure of the sound pumping out at them but I could have been in a room 3 blocks away for all the effect it had on me.

Compounded, ofcourse, by the bands refusal to engage with the audience to any extent. I know they're 'musicians' and the music is all important to them but then they need to play in venues that hold 1000 instead of massive halls like the EntCent.

Despite these many problems it was still good to see them live. At least 3 great sonic moments with the rest of it intruiging if nothing else. Best moment was hearing a goodly portion of the crowd sing along with all of the lyrics to Paranoid Android (the only song where they participated in this way). I've always loved this song but had never realized how defining a track it is for the band: would they be as popular today without it?