concerts

8 avril 1996, Toronto, Varsity Arena

Review de Jane Stevenson(Toronto Sun) :

When British band Radiohead took the stage at Varsity Arena saturday night for their encore, gangly lead guitarist-keyboard player Jon Greenwood approached the microphone and said his first words of the evening. Unfortunately, they were unintelligible. You have to speak loud to these nice people, said diminutive, charming lead singer-guitarist Thom Yorke, who then repeated Greenwood’s comments for the benefit of the sold-out crowd of 4,900. He said, « There’s a lot of love in here and thanks a lot for coming. » Truer words were never spoken.
The audience, who gladly waited through two opening acts, Treblecharger and Welsh singer-songwriter David Gray, in the sweltering arena, appeared to be diehard ’Radioheads’ for the most part. They cheered, danced and moshed their way through an hour-and-half set by the five-man band from Oxford, England. And Radiohead, who last played here in December at the Warehouse, responded in kind with a thoroughly entertaining if not outstanding show. The main bug of the night was the sound mix, which left bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway murky and overpowered by the guitar attack of Yorke, the other Greenwood (they’re brothers) and Ed O’ Brien, who also provided backup vocals. Fortunately for us, Yorke’s gorgeous choirboy voice – perhaps one of the finest instruments in rock today – wasn’t drowned out. You only really realize his incredible range when you try to sing along to such hits as high and dry, fake plastic trees, just and creep
. But Yorke’s powerful presence is more than his voice. The spiky-haired, frail and boyish redhead was a strange-looking mix between Martin Short, Peter Pan and Judy Garland (in her pixie stage) dressed in a red Gameboy T-shirt and jeans. With or without a guitar – he alternated between electric and acoustic – his hands often fluttered up to a face that distorted as his eyes closed to hit the high notes. He jumped around and shook his guitar, and at one point performed a backward somersault. Sensing the crowd’s overwhelming support, Radiohead tried out some new songs like electioneering and lift, which went over just as well as the better known material.
And Yorke – more often than not – introduced each song. This is a song about sex in the morning, he said before launching into Black-Star. It’s the cheeriest number we have. Could have fooled the crowd, who were all smiles no matter what Radiohead played.

m1996-04-08TorontoSun

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