[radiohead] meeting peopleRADIOHEAD. FEELS LIKE STREET SPIRIT
This is possibly one of the most accurate accounts of the Sydney Radiohead concert that I've managed to find, coming closest to how I personally reacted to the show. As my own memory of the concert fades, this will have to be [for now] the closest approximation to a personal review of the show. 

Entertaiment Centre, February 4 

By Bernard Zuel 

IT GRABS you; it holds you close; its heartbeat is your heatbeat. Separating the physical and cerebral of our response to Radiohead is not only unwise, it is not possible. 
In recent years we have seen two shows which grew responses more grounded in emotional wellsprings than mechanics of guitar sounds, vocal tecniques or even songcraft - the first Sydney shows of Jeff Buckley and Ben Harper. Radiohead stand in that company, and may in fact outstrip it.
While Buckley and Harper gave out, pushed out washes of energy and emotion, filling you up with their searching or spirituality, Radiohead suck it out, pull it towards them. However, they are both the catalyst and the catharsis. 

It brings to mind Joy Division, who similarly acted as a catharsis. They were a receptable for anger, loneliness, desperation. Fans invested them with the ability to, if not answer, then at least to listen, accept that anger. The difference with Radiohead may be that there isn't really room for anger here, for aggression of any sort. Nor is it the now obligatory angst of the tortured teenager. As with the basslines of Colin Greenwood, it's more primal but also more refined than that. 

Exit Music and Let Down were drenched in feeling, almost crushing in their piling of layers of sadness, expectation, hope, wistfulness and yearning. It was too much; how could we be expected to keep this in? What could we do, cry? Yell? Some tried to stand, to shake themselves free - to be ready for the next emotional load - but of course in this most fascist of venues standing is right out. Others in the mosh-free moshpit responded by barely moving, held there in stasis. 

The escape came in the expulsions of air, the lashing of guitars accompanying the peaks of My Iron Lung or the elongated Paranoid Android. The climax of the first "movement" of Paranoid Android began to release the tourniquet, but it was only an easing, a chance to breathe in quickly before the pressure returned. It was held in, pressing against the seams until the third, hard-driving movement flung open the gates. Let it out. 

And at the end there was stillness. Not a low, not a falling back, just stillness. The turbulence had subsided but there was no rush to leave, no urge to speak. In fact there was little to say, or little ability to articulate it yet. As singer Thom Yorke put it elsewhere: "No alarms and no surprises ... silence."