Radiohead at Red Rocks

By theajaysharma

Radiohead / Beta Band
June 20, 2001
Red Rocks Amphitheater, Denver, CO

A lot of people were asking me, "So why are you going to Denver for your vacation?" And I would feel like a music-dork for saying, "A Radiohead show at Red Rocks". Lucky for me that my best-friend happens to live in Denver which gives me the perfect excuse.

If you've only seen Red Rocks from the U2 live video then you are really missing out, it looks ten times as amazing as that video. Looking out over the crowd from the front of the stage (which is where I was *really* close to thanks to W.A.S.T.E.), you'll see two gigantic red rocks on each side and the Rocky mountains in the distance. Plus the backdrop on the stage is one big chunk of rock as well, it's quite a site to see and easily the best venue I've ever been visited. Oh yeah, the music was good too. The Beta Band came onstage looking more ghetto then I remember, like a bunch of those white guys pretending to be black. The drummer had goggles and a sideways baseball hat, the bass player has a visor and a pair of goggles, the keyboard player had a white jumpsuit, and the lead
singer has a black/gold colored gown (he didn't look very ghetto :). They played a nice mix of their older material and a few new tracks which was cool except for the fact that they didn't play "The Hard One". I haven't seen the Beta Band since their last US tour and that was horrible because they spent the whole show switching instruments and not really getting any song right. Maybe that was just a bad night because they were really tight at this show. They didn't jump around trying to recreate that "studio" sound on stage.

Radiohead had a pretty cool light setup. Their were several banks of flouresent lights in the background and these big foil-like strips that behind them that stretched the hight of the stage. The wind picked up during the Beta Band and they had to take the foil strips down, which
was the best thing possible because several times throughout the night they just had lights shine on the rocks in the background. Sitting in the fouth row you stop to think of Radiohead as the big stadium band, it
seems like you're back in a club watching them play stuff off the Bends. This is the first time in my life that I looked up at the big screen and realized that I had a better view of the stage. The set comprised
of old and new stuff which is expected, the new Kid A/Amnesic tracks translated well live. Some of the songs that are really mellow on the record just rock live, mainly because of Thom and his funky dancing. He was also in a good mood which was refreshing, I usually feel bad watching a Radiohead show like I was torturing Thom myself. There were several times that he was smiling at the crowd although he ddn't say much then the usual "thanks". They managed to play:

The National Anthem
Morning Bell
Karma Police
Exit Music
Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box
Permanent Daylight
No Surprises
Dollars and Cents
Fake Plastic Trees
I Might Be Wrong
Pyramid Song
Paranoid Android
Everything In Its Right Place

Street Spirit
You And Whose Army?
How To Disappear Completely

Encore 2:
Talk Show Host
My Iron Lung

It's hard to say that the show was anything but amazing, it was a perfect venue, great support (although Sigur Ros would've been great too), and a flawless Radiohead performance.