Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Radiohead does Vancouver

Back in August of 2003, REM and Radiohead headlined one show each at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium on consecutive nights.

REM had played the first night with Wilco and the Dandy Warhols opening. REM had just completed recording an album in Vancouver at the time, so they had a particular fondness for the city. Michael Stipe would dedicate each song out to different neighbourhoods. "And this goes out to the people of the Opus Hotel. This song goes out to North Vancouver. This song goes out to Burnaby. This song is for that newly wed couple I met earlier tonight." And they'd go right into Nightswimming. And so on. But what really surprised the audience was when Thom Yorke hopped on stage during REM's encore and to share vocals on It's The End of the World As We Know It.

The following night Stephen Malkmus and the Jigs opened for Radiohead. Radiohead had just released Hail To The Thief, and everyone was in such a frenzy for the band, the entire show had this intense energy. But it wasn't just the band, it was the atmosphere as well. Thunderbird Stadium on a clear, warm, August night can't be beat. Here we were - a venue in the trees with a pink sunset. And as if on cue, a flock of Canada geese flew over the stage right behind Radiohead, much to the audience's delight. All the while Mars - the closest it would be to Earth in our lifetime - shone as a beautiful red beacon in the sky. And to cap it off, Michael Stipe joined the band on stage during Radiohead's encore to share vocals on Karma Police. So you can imagine, it was one of those epically magical moments.

So while I didn't find any Youtube video of the magic Radiohead and REM shows, I did find this, which I actually find more entertaining! It's Radiohead doing Vancouver as your typical tourists - visiting English Bay, taking the gondola up to Grouse, lounging in the Museum of Anthropology, etc. It may not be magical, but I find it amusing (in a music geek kind of way).

1 comment:

lifeofthebeatles said...

Thanks for the post - hadn't seen that Radiohead interview in a while