Words by Joe Breslin | Photos by Rod Snyder

Radiohead closed out their 18 show tour of North America with two nights at the Wells Fargo Center this week. The arena tour also made stops in Chicago, New York City, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Boston. While still supporting 2016’s A Moon Shape Pool, the two-plus years since the album’s release allowed the band to dig into the back catalog a bit more. Fans were treated to 25 songs each night, and those who attended both heard 44 songs taken from all of the band’s albums, with the exception of 1993’s Pablo Honey. Classics from The Bends and OK Computer were sprinkled liberally throughout each night’s setlist.

The first three songs were identical each night, with A Moon Shaped Pool’s ‘Daydreaming’, ‘Desert Island Disk’, and ‘Ful Stop’ being played before the band dipped into the back catalog. Tuesday saw the slightly more obscure setlist, featuring ‘Talk Show Host’, ‘A Wolf at the Door’, ‘Feral’, and ‘Hunting Bears’ as an outro to ‘The National Anthem’. Those gems came at the cost of a couple of technical glitches, during ‘Idioteque’ (sometimes ‘Faster, Jonny!’ doesn’t provide the cleanest outro) and ‘Paranoid Android’.

After a rare non-appearance Tuesday, on Wednesday ‘Everything in its Right Place’ was back in its rightful place in the setlist. ‘Optimistic’ was chosen over the alternate ‘You and Whose Army’. Thom introduced it with ‘These are difficult times, and it is difficult to remain Optimistic.’

The encores started with Thom at the piano accompanied only by Colin Greenwood on bass, playing ‘Spectre’, originally written for the James Bond film, but not used because ‘they didn’t like it.’

Guitarist Jonny Greenwood worked a double, playing with openers Junun. Fronted by Shye Ben Tzur, the band was the focus of filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2015 documentary Junun. At the end of Wednesday’s set, a gracious Shye Ben Tzur introduced the band and gave a heartfelt appreciation to Radiohead and the fans who got to see their first US tour.

As per usual with Radiohead, the show production lived up to the band’s standard. The sound was well mixed, allowing each musician a chance to shine. A large oval behind the band was the backdrop for stage camera projections and visuals that included QR codes both plainly shown and hidden- in one of the few instances a phone came out from one of the fans in front of me, I saw a code plainly shown on the phone screen that was not at all obviously seen on the stage screen.

The second show, fittingly, closed with ‘Karma Police’. As the band stood and took in the applause, cheering and waving back to the crowd, Thom started playing the song on his acoustic and led a singalong. Phew for a minute there, I lost myself.

Tuesday July 31st
1. Daydreaming
2. Desert Island Disk
3. Ful Stop
4. 2 + 2 = 5
5. The Gloaming
(“Morning Bell” listed as an alternate)
6. All I Need
7. Pyramid Song
8. No Surprises
9. Airbag
10. Separator
11. Bloom
12. I Might Be Wrong
13. Talk Show Host
14. Nude
15. The Numbers
16. The National Anthem
(with “Hunting Bears” outro)
17. Idioteque
18. Encore:
19. Decks Dark
(“Spectre” listed as an alternate)
20. A Wolf at the Door
21. Bodysnatchers
22. Feral
23. Fake Plastic Trees
24. Encore 2:
25. Present Tense
26. Paranoid Android
27. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Wednesday August 1st
1. Daydreaming
2. Desert Island Disk
3. Ful Stop
4. 15 Step
5. Lucky
6. Kid A
7. Videotape
8. Decks Dark
9. Let Down
10. Everything in Its Right Place
11. Bloom
12. Reckoner
13. Lotus Flower
14. House of Cards
15. Optimistic
(“You and Whose Army?” was… more )
16. Idioteque
17. How to Disappear Completely
18. Encore:
19. Spectre
20. Myxomatosis
21. Exit Music (for a Film)
22. There There
23. The Tourist
24. Encore 2:
25. The Bends
26. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
27. Karma Police
(with extended outro & crowd sing-along with Thom)

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