Did Radiohead go full art dad tonight? Yes. Was it a bit alienating at times? Yes. Did I enjoy it regardless? Of course I did. By the time the sun was setting on Glasgow the main stage had amassed quite an audience, nothing quite like T in the Park but there was still a buzz nonetheless. Thom Yorke and co. walked out smiling, before dropping to their more serious demeanor for opener ‘Let Down’. The song is the perfect opener, as the textures within the song grow so do the visual aspects of the performance, glowing lights and screens lighting up around Radiohead. It’s mellow enough for the mood to be set but being from seminal album OK Computer, it’s not alienating for casual fans.
Secondly they burst into ‘Lucky’ to a lot of older fans’ delight. This song sees Thom Yorke fully immerses himself in the music, belting out the chorus with the same passion he gave it twenty years ago only this time with a better state of mind. Next comes ‘Ful Stop’ accompanied by a heavy light show, for anyone who can’t see the stage itself the experience must be quite unusual, music is only half the show when Radiohead are performing. ’15 Steps’ was the crowds first chance to really cut loose and the band took the chance too, Thom Yorke giving us another taste of that dad dancing that was the talk of Glastonbury; there were even a few people in the crowd to imitate it.
Where Radiohead may lack between song chatting, they make up for by curating a story in their setlist. ‘Myxomatosis’ follows a pause and it bursts onto the scene with it’s signature groove keeping up the pace that ’15 Steps’ set before ‘There There’ cuts in. Later comes my personal favourite, ‘Everything In It’s Right Place’. Radiohead are something of a spectacle live, they have an incredible, almost psychedelic light show whilst also being a spectacle themselves. ‘Weird Fishes’ soon comes along too. It’s poignant but perhaps a in the wrong part of the set for me.
The main set ends on ‘2+2=5’ which causes a stir among the audience before the first encore ensues. Unusually Radiohead go into their usual opener ‘Daydreaming’ but it’s accompanying light show is spectacular in the pitch black rather than the relative light of the beginning of their set. ‘Paranoid Android’ and ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ make an appearance, as they have been more and more recently. A second encore rolls around and finally ‘The Bends’ gets the justice that it’s fans have been calling out for, and finally comes ‘Karma Police’ which felt very special to witness.
TRNSMT’s opening night proved successful here, Radiohead pulled a strong audience and delivered a set that did a lot of fan service as well as celebrate the rerelease of OK Computer, even if ‘Creep’ didn’t get it’s chance to shine, no one seemed to mind.