Everything that could have went wrong before the concert pretty much did.
My mom picked me up at 3:30 at dad's house, and we went to Tim's. I was so anxious to leave that I kept pestering my mom to leave and she gave me the response, "Jacqueline, we'll get there on time, don't worry about it." She's always late, I even said it to her, and she said, "I'm never late." Sure...
After a while, we left around 6. We stopped at Burger King on the way there, and my mom asked the guy at the window if he wanted to go to a Radiohead concert, because we had 3 extra tickets (my mom's friend Jim and his son as well as Dana were supposed to go, but they couldn't) and the guy just kind of gave us a blank look and we drove away.
It took us about an hour to get to Philly, and we decided to take the ferry across to Camden as opposed to going over the bridge to Camden because it would be quicker that way. One problem: Burger Kind got the best of me and I ended up in the bathroom for about 15 minutes. It wasn't pleasant.
I felt better, and we got in line to go on the ferry, and the line was ridiculously huge. I feared that we'd miss the opening act, Steven Malkmus and the Jicks, because they went on at 7:30, but my mom said, "You came to see the band on the ticket." Still. Anyway, we waited in line, and I listened to the people behind us talking about "Metrosexuals" and how awesome "The Bruce" was in concert, and I tried my best not to chunder on myself. We thought we'd make the ferry over, but they cut us off and we had to get on the next one. I was pissed. We waited about 15 minutes for everyone to get on, and Tim started talking about the ferry sinking, getting shot down, etc. while I freaked out. The city skyline looked cool as we crossed the river, and I got some pictures.
We got off the ferry and walked to the Tweeter Center. There was some Jazz Fest going on right by it, and I asked if I could leave mom and Tim there, and later on I thought that they'd probably like that better. We got through security, and I bought a "Hail To The Thief" T-shirt for $30 and we walked into the Tweeter. We saw a million people on the lawn, and our seats in the 200-level were in the center and turned out to be very good. We sat for about 10 minutes, waiting for Radiohead to come on, while they played reggae music over the sound system. After every song, people started cheering, and another song came on and dissapointment swept over everyone.
Finally, Radiohead entered at 8:45, and everyone went crazy. They started with "The Gloaming" and everyone was up and dancing/spazzing/flailing, the likes. My seat was good, but people started flooding the aisles and being short sucks. Anyway, that was the least of my worries, because the concert was AMAZING. I'm not exaggerating, I wish I could have shared the experience with someone else, someone who appreciates Radiohead, because it was awesome. They played a lot of songs from HTTT in the beginning (There There, Sit Down. Stand Up., Where I End and You Begin) and then they began "Exit Music" and I couldn't believe they were playing it. It was moving. Next came "Backdrifts" and then, which was a good surprise, they played "Lucky" and it was awesome to see the energy when they sang it live, the guitar wailed, and everyone was singing along. "Paranoid Android" was awesome as well, and everyone went nuts. "Sail To The Moon" with the piano was beautiful, and they did a re-vamped version of "Kid A" and I didn't even recognize it in the beginning! I was so happy they played "Go To Sleep," but even happier when they played "Like Spinning Plates." On the album, the background is backwards and done with beats, but Thom played it on the piano, and it was even better than before. "I Might Be Wrong" was really energetic, and that was another crowd pleaser. One big surprise was "Talk Show Host," a b-side/fan favorite, and I was happy they did that. When "Idioteque" started, I totally freaked out, because that's my favorite song from "Kid A." "Fake Plastic Trees" was rockin' but people kept cheering, and I wish they'd let him sing, or sing along because it was so quiet in the beginning. They ended the set with "The National Anthem" and I thought about my man Eric Wagner, because he said that's his favorite RH song. It was awesome, hornless, but nonetheless rocktastic.
They left the stage, and everyone kept cheering, and the rock gods came back onstage for the first encore. They started with "Nice Dream" and that was one I thought I'd never hear live. It was so beautiful live, and even more so when everyone's singing along. They started a song with Thom on the piano, but Jonny had some technical problems and they tried a few times, and Thom got up from his bench, and leaned on the piano and tapped his foot, which was really funny. Instead, they played "My Iron Lung" and I'm so glad, because it was as good as it will ever be, guitar and everything. I wanted my camera during that song, but Tim and mom went to the b-room, and Tim had my camera. Next they played "No Surprises" and everyone, including me, went crazy on the line, "Bring down the government, they don't, they don't speak for us." It was a great moment. They closed up the first encore with "Karma Police," which Thom said was about "Peace, harmony, and getting rid of weirdos," which amused me, because a lot of the people there, including myself, just happened to fit into that category.
Everyone whipped out their lighters and sure enough, they came back for a 2nd encore, after my mom said, "Are they done yet?" A little bit of a role reversal there, haha. They played "2 + 2 = 5" and people went crazy with "All hail to the thief," as was expected. They ended with an insane rendition of "Everything In Its Right Place" and the beat and energy was uplifting. The song ended with Jonny and Ed messing around with Thom's vocals on with distortion things on the stage floor, and they left the stage with the word "FOREVER" scrolling in lights by the stage. It seemed that both the distortions AND the memory of the concert lingered in my brain...forever. Everyone cheered like crazy, and my mom was pushing me to get out, when it was over, but I wanted to stay anyway, to cheer and such.
It was the best concert I could ever for. I wish they would have played "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" because I know it would have been awesome live, but still, they surprised me, rocked me, and left me with a memory that I'll savor "FOREVER." The feeling of being part of a giant voice created by all of the enthusiastic fans all singing in unison, and bobbing up and down and not worrying about looking like an ass was just great, like my soul was freed by music was just incredible. I can't even describe it.
There were some oddities, like expected, that I saw there and I'll highlight them for my amusement, and maybe you'll enjoy it too. Some guy standing in the aisle next to me was smoking pot and flailing around, and ended up bumping into my mom, and she commented that, "He was invading my space." I think I got a second-hand high. These two blonde girls two rows in front of us were dancing the same, and they looked like they were at a club opposed to a Radiohead concert. This woman in front of me, who looked like a mom stuck by herself while her child ran off, was standing with her hands together, moving them back and forth. Maybe she was praying to get out of there.
I want to add that were lights behind the band that changed color and pulsated with the beat, which indirectly added to the energy and overall quality of the show. There were also monitors next to the stage, so that the lawnies could see the band. Thom flailed like usual, and it seemed like he was a puppet master. Whenever he danced around, got excited, or waved the crowd to cheer it affected everyone. Jonny was great as well, doing his thing like usual, doing solos like they should be done. He has a certain aura about him, he's like an artist; he's quiet, independant, and his hair hides his face in a mysterious manner. Ed was great too with backing vocals, peace sign tee, and his little "percussion" solo in "Paranoid Android." Colin sang along in the background like any fan would, which was good to see that he was just as excited to be there as we were. And of course, Phil beat the hell out of the drums (and is a sharp dresser as well!). The band was no less than extraordinary, and their energy and how much they wanted to be there really left an impression in me.
After the concert, we exited the Tweeter and before we got on the ferry (first one, woo hoo!) we saw a guy peeing by a little tree and my mom was yelling at me to look at the penis. What a role model! Tim and my mom were imitating the pothead guy by waving their arms and crying "Radio radio radio head!" If I wasn't embarrased before, I definitely was then! I ran ahead of them and we got in the car (after the smoked, gag) and went home. On the way home, my mom suddenly realized...
...we ran out of gas.
We pulled over by an exit, and Tim ran off and looked for a gas station. Mom and I stayed in the car, and listened to y100 as they did a "Concerty Echo" and played the Radiohead $2 Bill performance. The more Radiohead, the better. Tim came back, said he couldn't find one, then ran off another way. Poor guy! A spider crawled into my mom's window and I screamed and she freaked out and started whacking it. She sat in the passenger's seat after that. I had to go pee REALLY bad, but my mom wouldn't let me run off and answer my call from nature, but I don't blame her. I was almost in pain from holding it in. Tim came back, after an hour since we ran out, filled her up, then we went to a gas station down the room, and I dashed to the bathroom. Ahhh. After that, we had a flawless ride home, and I got home around 1. I had some 'splainin' to do, for sure.
In conclusion, that was one of the best nights of my life, even though it had its problems, but it made me appreiciate the concert even more in a way. I still can't believe it happened, it seems more like a dream, but I can assure you, it was a damn good one.