August 15, 1997 Radiohead played the Filmore in Detroit promoting their upcoming album, “Kid A.” Four albums and about fifteen years later Radiohead will return to Michigan for the first time since to play at the Palace of Auburn Hills on June 11 2012.
For years Radiohead remained quiet as to why they were seemingly avoiding Michigan. Some contemplated that it was their inability to find a venue to fit their fan base. For years Radiohead were considered not big enough to sell out the Palace but too big for smaller Metro-Detroit venues such as Royal Oak Music Theatre, St. Andrews Hall, and the Fox Theatre.
Other venues that seemed be a good fit for Radiohead, such as the outdoor DTE Energy Theatre were believed to be avoided because of their association with corporations and corporate sponsorship, something that Radiohead has always been sternly against.
For whatever the reason Radiohead avoiding Michigan them finally playing a show in Michigan has caused some attention to those who live in the state.
Recently, I was lucky enough to see Radiohead in St. Louis and the Scottrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues.
The band opened with the first track “Bloom” from their newest album, “The King of Limbs.” “The King of Limbs” has gained a reputation for being an album that sounds weak in the studio but riveting live, a statement that I can now confirm. The drums were adrenaline pumping, the distorted noises and effects caused my body to rumble, but nothing could prepare me for Thom Yorke’s infamous wailing. The opening lyric of Bloom is the perfect way to start off a show, with Yorke screeching, “Open your mouth wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide,” his mouth covering several octaves and going through numerous different pitches. Here I was, seeing arguably one of the biggest and most influential bands of the past twenty years.
The setlist was heavy on “The King of Limbs” and “In Rainbows,” the band’s two latest albums ended up covering nearly half of the setlist. A certain highlight of the night was Thom Yorke forgetting the lyrics to “Karma Police,” one of the band’s most famous songs. Instead of singing “This is what you get when you mess with us” in the chorus Yorke comically sang, “This is what you get when you forget the words” causing an uproar of laughs and cheers from the sold out stadium of nearly 22,000.
Unfortunately, tickets to Radiohead in Detroit are nearly sold out and around $100 for nosebleed seats, the only ones available. There’s a possibility of a second sale of tickets going out. If not expect prices of at least $300 for tickets to appear on Stubhub courtesy of heartless scalpers. From my experience though, no price on a Radiohead ticket is too much and I look forward to seeing them at the Palace this June.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons