Long live rock, I need it every night

Monday, May 12, 2008

Packt Like Sardines in a Blu Ford Escape

Radiohead - May 11th, 2008, 7:00pm with Liars, Nissan Prison, >$20

If you missed the Radiohead show yesterday, I will try to paint a quick picture of what went down. First, imagine your worst camping experience ever- the one that leaves you hungry and shivering and $29 away from checking yourself into the nearest Motel 6. Now imagine gridlock traffic at rush hour after a dirty bomb deployment. Wedge in between those a fantastic performance by possibly the greatest rock band making music today, and that's basically what we experienced at the Nissan Pavilion yesterday evening/night/early morning today.

There has already been a lot written about the horrendous weather, the lack of communication from Nissan Pavilion staff, the decision not to postpone the show, the lack of medical professionals available for the soggy, indie rockcicles that showed up in t-shirts and shorts, as well as the eco-unfriendly decision to play at car-dependent Nissan Pavilion. So I won't say much more about those things than that. Just know that at times we were starting to think that this was going to unfold as modern day Altamont and at other times there were gross comparisons being made to the Holocaust*.

What compounded our misery was the fact that not only were our plans for an elaborate tailgate - sitting in camping chairs in the lot, throwing the frisbee around, getting a little hacky sack action in - completely upended by the torrential rain, but we also left behind the food at Casa de sacklunch. Oh and we had a total of 12 beers for the 4 of us and it was only 4:30pm.

The misery grew as did the pressure on our bladders. By the time we got inside of the Pavilion, we were cold, wet, underserved and malnourished. Fast forward to the end of the show when we waded our way back to the car only to find that the car wouldn't start. Apparently listening to music for 4 hours with the dome light on will kill a car battery. Who knew? Not that we were going anywhere anyhow. We sat in section A6 of the parking lot after the show for an hour and a half and just waited for a mercy killing to greet us.

The good news - it was May 11th. Yeah, it was Mother's Day, but mom's are understanding about missing holidays in their honor - that's why we honor them, right? And being the 11th of May, it meant we were not seeing Tim McGraw, Allison Krauss, Jimmy Eat World, or the Jonas Brothers. Despite the bad weather and our own general incompetence, we were blessed to have tickets under the roof of the pavilion to see Thom Yorke and his friends.

But first a word about opening act Liars whose frontman looked a bit like David Johansen dressed like Pee Wee Herman. He wore an undersized suit which I found clever for some reason. Tall guy in a suit too small. Turning David Byrne on his head. Other than that, I thought Liars could be a good show if I knew more of their music. It didn't sound half-bad to me, but they definitely weren't crowd pleasers. It's a tough gig. Who really wants to open for Radiohead? It's like running for vice president, or watching the opening credits of a porno. Everybody wants to fast forward through that.

I usually rely on video taken at the show to help my posts, since my vocabulary is rather limited. But Youtube isn't cooperating, so uh, here's what I thought of Radiohead. OMG 101 1111!!!! 111 1! Okay, Youtube is working now. You're in luck. If you want to see it clearer, you'll have to come to my house. Youtube debases my work.

Radiohead fucking rocks. Period. Here's the set list:

All I Need
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
15 Step

Pyramid Song
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Faust Arp
Paranoid Android
Everything In Its Right Place
Bangers + Mash
Like Spinning Plates
Karma Police
Go Slowly
Planet Telex
Fake Plastic Trees

The National Anthem
House of Cards

As Jimbromski predicted in an email exchange last week, there were hands in the air swaying to Fake Plastic Trees. I didn't post the images here because we can all imagine what that was like.

I wish they had skipped Videotape. I don't like that song one bit. And why end on the soft note? Rock it out for the last tune so we can all go out in a blaze of glory, Bon Jovi style.

*Thanks to DCRC commenter Rick M. and his wife, we received vital sustenance that kept us alive. There were our Oscar Schindler trekking through the rain and mud to bring us sandwiches.

I don't rate shows like the others, but I'll give Nissan Pavilion a 2.3 for the venue. Radiohead gets an MMCXVI, and the sandwiches get a 8.1.


Jimbromski said...

2.3 is generous

I think you should have made the shout-out to the guys who helped us jump start the car more prominent, they got really really wet doing so. If they're by chance reading this, thanks and you guys are saints.

Otherwise I agree 4000% with what you've written.

Potsy said...

Nissan gets a 2.3 for merely having a roof to shield us from further drenching. I know it should be an assumed benefit as part of the ticket price, but at least they had enough infrastructure to enable Radiohead to perform.

I'm glad you mentioned the guys responsible for getting us going at the end. They were like American GIs busting down the camp walls in WWII.

rob said...

i think you guys were right in front of GH and me (or you had a great zoom function on your camera).

Anonymous said...

I could have done more. I could have brought them beer!!! I didn't do enough! See this bag? Ten beers right here. I could have gotten ten more beers...and I didn't! And I...didn't!

Anonymous said...

at least you had the opportunity for a crazy experience that made for a hilarious post. thanks for the laugh, hope you're dry soon.

Jumbo Slice said...

Potsy, excellent use of the asterisk. I'm glad to see the rest of Rock Club is finally embracing the power of the *.

Jimbromski said...

not crazy, more like apocalyptic, with background music

sacklunch said...

I have to say, despite all the pre and post concert misery, that show was top notch. I am even considering getting tickets for Camden in August.

Nice video, Posty. Paranoid Android was one of fevorites of the evening. Myxomatosis was awesome as well. I agree with your comments about 'VideoTape", not a favorite of mine. That being said, we did get a great set from "The Head"

Jumbo Slice said...

Hearing how awesome the show was makes me want to see them in Houston. Is it worth leaving my 9 months pregnant wife alone at home with no car? What's the chance she'll go into labor while I'm away? I'm guessing 20%, tops. Those aren't bad odds.

Anonymous said...

Why is it you and your boys couldn't cobble together $30 for premiere parking? Your Uncle Pattack warned you. Bummer about J-Lo's battery. Fucking phenom show!!

Highlight for me was paranoid android...


sacklunch said...


We wanted to save the $30 and buy Cut Copy tickets.

Anonymous said...

By the way, have you played COD4 yet??? Puts Halo to shame IMO.

Anonymous said...

Cut Copy... they good? Where are they playin?

Anonymous said...

no fair, i want to see radiohead! i've been to coachella for six years, and the one year i didn't go to the saturday show of course radiohead played and apparently kicked more than the appropriate amount of ass.

i hate myself.