When there was still snow on the ground I purchased tickets for the Radiohead show. 5pm, the day of the show, I found out that a man had lost his life because of the temporary stage that I was to see Radiohead on that very night. I know you’ve likely read the news or are aware of the cancelled Radiohead show, but there’s something to be said about this horrid accident that happened as they were letting concert patrons onto the festival grounds. Perhaps we have too much faith in temporary structures, or rely too heavily on the work of many handlers.
I was a little crushed that I wasn’t going to have my mind blown by Thom York and company, but I felt an ounce of relief falling back on such an established band as the Flaming Lips. Since my friend’s vivid encounter of being able to dance on stage in costume with the Flaming Lips, I found myself completely in awe of the Flaming Lips’ stage show. Within the first ten or fifteen minutes of the set, several confetti guns had been shot, frontman Wayne Coyne had donned the audience in a human sized beach ball and hundreds of large-sized balloons were bouncing around the crowd. All sounding pretty momentous, in order to experience this first hand you had to endure a few hours of squishing and squirming in a packed crowd. The Flaming Lips however didn’t let me down playing a set that spanned just over an hour. I took it as a good opportunity to familiarise myself with not only their stage show but albums I haven’t ventured into yet. It was however most interesting to note the variety of covers the band played – Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” and Radiohead’s “Knives Out.” Coyne didn’t go without acknowledging the wreckage that likely brought in streams of heartbroken Radiohead fans to their very show. He gave a brief sympathetic speech of the happenings followed by the unlikely Radiohead cover.
They closed with their infectious tune “Do You Realize?” Of which provoked an enormous amount of crowd participation…
Coyne introduced the tune
“I think it’s been a really powerful day for all of us here. Again, our love and peace and our karmic good energy goes… and that’s a lot from me motherfuckers, that’s a lot, that’s a lot, goes to the Radiohead family and um we love you guys, we love Toronto, we love the whole experience and do it every fucking year and we’ll come back.”
It’s funny to watch this reasonably well-shot video and compare what I thought I saw (or didn’t see). Yonge and Dundas square was a mess of people:
The lush tune served as a hopeful, fairy-tale like ending to a horrendous sweaty crowded experience.