Radiohead have headlined an arena show 2-3 times in the last 20 years in the city. Usually preferring to be outdoors at Les Francofolies, Osheaga or just themselves at Parc Jean-Drapeau, fans were in for the full Radiohead effect in their first of two sold out nights at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
The fans in the front row had lined up since early afternoon to be as close as possible to the stage. Oh, and what a stage!! It seemed higher up than usual. The lights were usually very monotone in colour but often had high contrast and strobe effects. Truly lights that add to the overall show as the visuals were just as good as the band on stage. For photos, it made for an interesting challenge. On nights with lights like this, we often have to work harder to get the shots we want. But tonight, they added extra restrictions in that we could only stay to one side of the stage, limiting our shooting angles and chances to play with the light, but adding to the fun of getting the job done.
The setlist was not one for a beginner Radiohead fan. There were many obscure songs and not that many big hits. But what else would you expect from a band that doesn’t just feed in to the nostalgic music people want to hear? The tempo of the show wasn’t smooth, often going from a higher energy song to a very low key song back to back. I have a feeling this was probably deliberate.
I haven’t read anything negative about the show, and many of the fans who went on the first night are also going back on the second night. With only a handful of appearances in the city, people want to soak in as much Radiohead as they can.
Here is a pretty much all black and white set from last night.