That was the exclamation from Thom Yorke about halfway through the Radiohead show on
September 30th, 2012 at Berlin’s Kindl-Buhne outdoor amphitheater. He commented multiple times during the show how cold it was, but it didn’t stop them from ripping through their setlist of 24 songs that tried to keep the 15,000 fans in attendance warm.
I was surprised to see the show listed a week prior to our trip to Berlin, and to my amazement there were tickets available. That was an easy purchase, as I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to see them again since the 2008 show at the San Francisco OutsideLands Festival. That show was with 100,000 people, and marred by some sound problems that the band played through. But I’ll never forget the energy of that show (100,000 people will do that), and have looked forward to seeing them in a smaller venue, so this was perfect!
The show started with “Lotus Flower”, where the band seemed a bit tight. I can now understand why, as Thom later admitted that many of the band were out until the wee hours of the morning partying after Saturdays’s show. After the “warm-up”,things got rocking along with “15 Step”, which seemed crisper and got everyone headed in the right direction.
About midway through they played a new song which they debuted on their US tour this past summer, “Full Stop” which had a strong energy to it. Make no mistake though, the end of the main set with “Paranoid Android” was the absolute highlight of the show, as Thom and team led the crowd on the journey of the song through the open of mesmerizing guitar strums, the build up of Thom’s vocal brilliance, the unmistakable bass build-up at the quarter pole, to the best line in all of music, then the rip of electric guitar from Jonny that put the crowd into a total frenzy, back down to the mesmerizing tribal chant, and back again to frenzy. What an exhausting run of a son, which I’m sure rivaled the events of the Berlin Marathon earlier in the day.
The rest of the show was a bit of a blur, as my strudel felt like it was freezing off, and we had to go get hot chocolate during the first encore. I’m not proud of getting up between an encore, but Thom was right, it was damn cold. I know I’ve been colder in my life, but doubt I’ve felt as cold (if that makes any sense).
So what’s the best line in all of music? I’ll let you decipher it:
“Ambition makes you look pretty ugly.
Kicking screaming Gucci little piggy.”