Radiohead made Let Down. Point.
And this is the first thing you need to know.
The second is that in 2012, following the Italian tour dates of “King of Limbs”, I wrote an article about Stereogram, the blog I was doing just about the GQ site, telling my story with the band’s concerts Of Thom Yorke – many, over the course of many years – to whom I had the ironic title: “No, I will not sell the Radiohead concert ticket”.
That article had turned a lot, though unfortunately it was lost in some of the cemeteries of the network (one day we will really talk about how the eternity of the Internet is actually the largest of the historical fake). It’s a shame, because I would have long wanted to get it out in the past few days, that’s when serious articles were written about why people were selling massively for tickets to the band’s Italian concerts. One thing that has always happened and that always happens for those concerts where you are forced to buy tickets in advance of months, perhaps ignoring the day of the week in which they fall and what might happen if that day there would be an indescribable commitment.
In short, everything is normal, all trivial, but we live the era of total merchandise where all that happens in the microcosms of our timeline ends up to look like the center of the world when it really is always and only our tiny landing.
Why at the end of the day to see the Radiohead in Florence there were about fifty thousand viewers.
Fifty thousand spectators who have packed the Visarno arena since the early afternoon and have also attended the performances of Junun and James Blake.
A year and a half ago, that is, close to the first dates of the “A Moon Shaped Pool” tour, the atmosphere around the Radiohead was different. On that record – beautiful one of the best in their discography – was a strange air. As if it were their final work, the pace of adulthood.
On the symbolism behind some of the songs, that of Daydreaming’s video, a classical retrieval like True Love Waits, has been said and written so much.
Ink rivers were also spent when the Radiohead began to recover live tracks that did not sound like geologic eras, and even Creep’s execution had become almost a habit. In the summer concerts of 2016, they performed nearly sixty songs out of their entire repertoire, and it never happened before.
The atmosphere of those live we still remember it with a mix of tension and amazement, feelings that have been completely overturned by the tour that is bringing them to Europe these weeks and will end in just over a month as always, More uncertainty about the future.
The Radiohead seem to have started enjoying their live performances and to face them with a different lightness.
There is no longer the desire to astonish at all costs: by now you can give the public exactly what you want without losing a whit of identity. No other group has gone through almost three decades of career without ever giving the idea of looking ahead and not closing around their glorious past. The Radioheads have never needed to play the hits to please their audience, and even now that they are doing it, it’s obvious that there is no nostalgic intention to animate them. Because, and somehow it’s just what’s going on, you can look back, always aiming to move on.
This is not a celebratory concert at all, though it may sound like it. The staging is sober, there are no choruses for the stadium: the Radioheads are always the arena less arena band that may come to your mind.
They play for themselves, as always, but they also give the impression of having fun.
They open, as usual, with a dozen tracks from the last year: Daydreaming, a song from the impossible, circular song, so unsuitable for making ouverture that ends up making a turn and looks perfect because of the way in which Drives the crowd and carries it into a bubble, Desert Island Disk and Ful Stop.
Not even the time to recover and suddenly arrive at the first surprises: Airbag (we are still in the week when “OK Computer is 20 years old”), 15 Step – whose intro is exalted by the dual battery’s polyrhythmia – and Myxomatosis Became one of the real classics of the group.
The still-changing atmosphere brings us back to Lucky’s parts, followed by the Pyramid Song and Everything in Its Right Place.
Three pieces. Three hits.