Radiohead takes L.A.!

My very first concert was Guns N'Roses with Metallica. Yah, you

remember that one!!! And let me tell you, the times in which I felt more anxious excitement are very far and few in between. But they've all had to do with one thing…the single most grounding force of my life as far as I can remember it: music. I am a veteran of live shows and concerts and festivals and raves…at the age of 26, they all feel like second nature now…they all feel like home…comfortable. But last night brought me right back to feeling like a kid in a candystore all over again…like I've never done it before. I couldn't help but feel giddy all day long, and when I was finally in the car on the way to the Hollywood Bowl, my face was encrusted with a permanent grin. Nothing could wipe it off. Nothing could get rid of it. Nothing, absolutely nothing (not even the hour-long wait in traffic outside the Bowl), could snap me out of this one. Ten years in the waiting…and finally…I finally get my chance to see them.

The best band in the world today. They've been dubbed as our

generation's Pink Floyd. They've been through every imaginable rash of criticism, testing, reinvention…and have escaped relatively unscathed. They went from being written off by the media, to being hated by the media for being proven wrong, to being the darlings of every major and minor entertainment editor on the planet…simply by proving, time after time, album after album, song after song, show after show, that they belong. They are…

Radiohead.

The weather was perfect, the crowd was perfect, the timing was perfect. The stage was set for Thom Yorke and company to take over the beautifully situated Hollywood Bowl. This was Radiohead's home for the next two sold-out evenings. As the house lights dimmed you could feel your insides shaking as an electronic drum and bass beat slowly filled the Bowl from front to back. You could feel it creeping through

 each aisle, every row, through the tunnels, up the stairs, and into your bloodstream. Then the band walked on stage to a wild and anticipatory standing ovation. As if they meant to console and welcome the crowd immediately off the bat, the recognizable guitar riff to "There, There" replaced the mood-setting drum and bass line, and our senses now belonged to Radiohead. That was just the beginning.

As they powered through most of the tracks from "Hail to the Thief", Johnny Greenwood proved incredibly on point for the entirety of the evening. His guitar wails and solos and filler notes pierced the summer evening air in a way and sound that only a genius musician could pull off. It was immediately apparent that the days of Yorke's brooding and whining and shying away from the public eye are long gone. Never in a million years would you expect to see him so comfortable, so loose on stage. He seemed like he was having (dare I say it)…fun. Hopping and

dancing around the stage in his socks like a child alone in a bedroom with the curtains drawn and their favorite song blaring from a turntable. He was most definetly in his zone and nothing could snap him out of it, taking brief opportunities to joke with the crowd and even made a crack about the California recall election. He even mussed the second verse of 'Karma Police' and could do nothing but chuckle about it…and the crowd followed suit. It was a wonderful sight to see.

Standout tracks included the hard-hitting 'Myxomatosis,' 'Paranoid Android,' 'Scatterbrain,' and 'Sit Down, Stand Up.' Thom's voice was ridiculously dead on the entire set through. How he hits some of those notes, we'll always wonder in awe, but we'll never know. It's a gift that we're blessed he's decided to share. The stage lighting was phenomenal. Two vertical screens book-ended the stage, while a the explosions of bright and colorful lights across the backdrop and the stage itself lended to an all around perfect show.

Last night, Radiohead proved why they are the powerful musical force

that they are today. Original and inventive and never shying away from taking risks (Kid A, Amnesiac), they have shown the world their staying power. Long are the days of the novelty of 'Creep.' Long are the days of writing them off as just another one-hit wonder of the glory days of grunge. Radiohead rocks! And they're here to stay! I've waited ten years to see these guys, and it was definetly well worth the wait. I only wish I had tickets for tonight as well…

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