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“We didn’t realize we’d packed the weather,” cracked Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke as the wiry Brit and band took to the stage Thursday night at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The beautiful outdoor venue was getting damper by the minute, and by the show’s second hour, it was a full-on downpour. But it didn’t dampen the audience’s spirit, nor the band’s frontman. In fact, the glisten of the rain enhanced the many video screens that cut to the band members’ faces all during the show, and the songs — which are humorous but mostly dark — seemed to match the spirit of the weather pretty well.
“I’ve never seen Thom so relaxed and happy as he is on this tour,” a source close to the band told The Hollywood Reporter of The King of Limbs tour. “He’s talking to the audience more; he’s even smiling. If he wasn’t Thom Yorke, I could also say he’s gone rather warm and fuzzy.”
Thursday’s set list included “Bloom,” “The Daily Mail,” “These Are My Twisted Words” and “Little by Little,” totaling 16 songs in the main set. The first encore featured “Separator,” “Nude,” “Identikit” and “Planet Telex,” and the final encore — which took place in a torrential downpour — included “Give Up the Ghost,” “Reckoner” and perennial favorite “Paranoid Android.”
By this point in Radiohead’s U.S. tour, Yorke really has his pacing down, starting the concert with slower, piano-based songs, then building the energy all night until he devolved into his own Thom Yorke dance like a possessed man in a spiritual trance. In turn, plenty of audience members emulated his moves.
The crowd started to look like a sea of plastic as audience members took cover in any tarp they could find, prompting Yorke to remark: “We can see you all getting soaked, and we’re so glad you stayed with us. You didn’t have to.”
But that waterlogged crowd was not budging until it became clear the band wasn’t coming back. They got one final bow as the five members of Radiohead — Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway — walked to the front of the stage and applauded the audience and bowed with folded hands.
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