KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Radiohead Auburn, WA 8/20/08

Em Brownlowe

Last nite I scratched out one of my remaining “Do Before You Die” checklists: See Radiohead Live.

Being someone who gets mildly discomforted at shows more than 150+ people I was well aware of the exception I was making for one of the most noteworthy bands of my time…

First off, I drove to the location of Auburn in horrific weather (ie. pelting rain where you couldn’t see the cars ahead while listening to an intense selection of intricate instrumental music soundtrack chosen by my copilot (ie. Battles, Tortise with a detour into Shannon Wright’s vocal black cloud)…luckily, all of the terrible accidents occurred on the opposite side of the freeway and we managed to get to the White River Amphitheater in Auburn, WA early enough to check out a dead beat pawn shop across the way from an impressive Casino. With previous experience in podunk Casino land 0 ie. going on tour with Jon who loves to gamble occasionally – I knew there would be cheap drinks with the possibility of good luck! Both assumptions were granted as we drank $3.25 wells while watching our friend Speck win Black Jack three times in a row – doubling his money.

We then continue to the Amphitheater and part ways – some had legit seats, others, including myself, walked up to the lawn to brave the threatening skies… As we wait through The Lair’s set to end (whom seemed to be STOKED they were opening for Radiohead shouting out fake Brit-accented phrases of enthusiasm such as “ARE YOU READY FOR THE BEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE?!”) my buddy and I observed that our generation’s visual admiration for bands have switched from glowing Bic lighters to glowing cell phones documenting the event or calling their friend back home to have them experience the event via satellite.

Even if my view of Radiohead was less than the length of my thumbnail, they were amazing. They did a spectacular job of encompassing my favorite moments from their lengthy career as they touched on songs from each album I have adored for years…

In fact, I have a 4 way fav tie between OK Computer, Amnesiac, Kid A and Hail To The Theif (although through recent repeat listens I have grown affection towards In Rainbows – yet I would currently disagree with those who think it is their best album to date)

What I found the most impressive is how a band that is no doubt a legend – and doesn’t seem to tour much – played an immaculate set…Nearly every song was dead on perfect except this one tune (whom was captured by a super fan whom was probably wavering on 1 too many $8 Budweiser 16oz cans those stingy merchants were peddling):…

Besides all of the other songs which were dead on perfect and left me in awe – this repeated fuck up – which was restarted 3 or 4 times – was the most memorable and endearing part of the show. you see, i look up to these guys as super-tech icons and to see their musical machine malfunction in person gives the rest of us musicians the realization that they are imperfect people just like all of us….and we’re all O.K.


2 Responses to “KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Radiohead Auburn, WA 8/20/08”

  1. 1 The Bearded Traveler
    August 22, 2008 at 10:55 am

    OMFG! They broke into “Tell Me Why” by Neil Young to fill in time!?!?!?
    I ❤ Neil Young!!!
    I only kinda-like Radiohead, but it’s nothing particularly… mean-spirited.
    I simply like 1 or 2 songs per album, with them. Not always the singles,
    but often.
    I think Thom is kinda sexy and interesting… not as much as Jarvis Cocker,
    to ME, but yeah! I’ve liked some things like… the self-interview Thom Yorke
    did once, where he was VERY cutting and abusive towards himself! But it made
    him seem greater to me, that he was able to take what COULD have been very
    boring and self-serving (a self-interview), and made it unique, smashingly
    iconoclastic, and so brutally introspective in public.

  2. August 22, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Instead of saying “pelting rain” I would have said “in the driiiving raaain”.

    I happy for you! What an awesome thing to do before one dies! love Ste. Goldie

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