Sunday, June 25, 2006

Radiohead @The Greek Theatre at Berkeley, June 24th

Oh man, oh man...tonight -- the main reason why I came to San Francisco for this long weekend -- Radiohead. Back in early May, the Radiohead fanclub said tickets would be going on presale sometime that day. No specific time, just "sometime," which meant for many fans, staying up late, refreshing their internet browsers into the wee hours of the morning in hopes of catching the presale before tickets sold out.

Crazily enough, I played the game for a little while, and finally gave up around 3:30am that night. A work night. Sometime between the time I passed out and when I got up at 7am, the presale began. MSG sold out both nights before I had a chance to pounce (but happily, fate intervened and my new best friend Rad hooked me and Wawa up with MSG tix). So instead, I saw that tickets for Berkeley were still available (I guess Californians were sleeping at 4 in the morning their time -- go figure). I quickly checked the calendar and saw one of the nights at Berkeley was a Saturday. I was desperate to see Radiohead, my favoritest band in the world. Amanda, my music authority (and one of my best friends from college), lives in the Bay Area. So on impulse I bought 'em. Pulled the trigger. Bang!

Cut to a month and a half later -- the day I had been waiting for finally came. Yes, I saw Radiohead twice last week in New York, and up close. But I was so looking forward to this trip, to this outdoors show with two of my best friends from MIT -- Amanda, and our friend Di. So it was lovely seeing my girls, especially since we had skipped our 10th year reunion just a few weeks ago (gawd, we're old!). Amanda's brother Ted was gonna use the 4th ticket but unfortunately had to work, so I posted the ticket on the fanclub message board for face and made some fan very happy. Gotta feed the ticket karma gods, ya know? Pay it forward and shit like that (sorry, if it made you think of a burned Kevin Spacey and a gawky Haley Joel Osment!)...

Anyway, back to the music. This night we did not opt for the jam packed pit (so no good pictures, but at least I could focus on enjoying the show), so we hung on the promenade above the pit behind some short girls. The band Deerhoof opened with a tight half hour set. Very experimental and minimalist, but memorable. Loads of chi!

As for Radiohead -- they were AMAZING! They once again changed the setlist to include a few songs I hadn't caught yet on this tour including "Airbag," "Black Star" and a delicious version of "True Love Waits." This was my third time hearing the new songs, and it only made me even more excited to hear them in the context of an album. For the song "Nude," the band got a few minutes in, but then Thom was displeased with his mic, so he had them stop and replace the mic, and started from the top again. Ah, the beauty of live music!

And the setting was great too. The Greek Theatre is on the campus of Berkeley, an amphitheatre that holds about 7,500. It did not get too cold, probably cos I was dancing like an idiot, and the famous fog stayed away until the very end giving rise to an eerie lighting effect, which was nice.

Thom was in a good mood, quite chatty and jokey, and he danced like an idiot, too. God, I love that weird little genius man. At the end of the show before the last song, "The Tourist," Thom said that would be it for the show, unless we invited them to carry on at our place. Um, YES!!!

It was awesome seeing Radiohead this third and final time this tour. I still can't believe I flew out to San Francisco with the main goal of seeing this show. I don't suppose I would have bothered going across the country just to see a band (yes, even Radiohead) so the fact that I have been able to spend time with Amanda and Di has made this trip even more special.

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