It was for the first time in my life that I went to a concert with a certain feeling of fear, besides the excitement I usually feel when live music is about to happen. For everybody who knows me it is clear that a live concert is the place to be for me, that or a live tennis match… or by the sea. Anyway, a concert site is no longer a safe place, we all know that and we found that out in the most disturbing and sad way possible. When you see that security measures are really tough when you go in and you have to walk through security doors almost like in the airports, you start to feel a bit better. It would be best if these things weren’t necessary.
Going back to the music, this time it was Radiohead I ended up seeing. Not a band I usually listen to, they’ve been there for quite a while because of family, yes, older siblings and their music and younger sister sticking her nose into that, and because of MTV and especially VH1 which aired their videos quite a lot when I was growing up in front of the TV screen. They were some of the weird guys I could see on TV. It takes a bit of brain power and will to understand their music which I consider not very easy to digest. It can be horribly depressive while it is amazingly beautiful. Of course everybody knows “Creep” or has felt like that every now and then. Then there’s also “Karma Police”. My personal favourite from them is “Jigsaw Falling into Place”.
The concert was amazing. It had a lovely light show, a very edgy and cold energy attached to it, plenty of good sounds, little chatter, lots of clapping and excitement all wrapped around some really beautiful music that the lovely people of Stockholm and its surroundings, to quote Thom Yorke, the singer, enjoyed from the first to the last chord.
Now leaving aside their music it is important to mention that Thom Yorke is an activist and has made his voice heard several times in relation to many topics from environmentalism to anti-war causes and not only. So I was really curious to see if, just like many other artists these days, he is going to say anything during Radiohead’s concert. Lucky me, the concert happened two days after the general elections in the UK, and of course the singer had something to comment about that. The short message of it all is that hope, which begins to come back to the British people, can make a difference in the face of those who think they own Great Britain and who try to scare its citizens. This short political speech came before a song called “The Daily Mail”, which naturally makes me think about the British tabloid with the same name, but listening to it also makes me think about a certain power-play.
The concert seemed too short for everybody in the audience, even if it lasted a bit over two hours and had 24 songs in the setlist. The band chose to end it with “Karma Police” and I must say that the audience singalong to it gave me the goosebumps, it was really pretty. At the end of it all it just felt that I’ve attended a concert of some legends of the World music scene, and maybe I did cause the gig was, after all, sold out.