Last night, Radiohead played their much-anticipated concert in Tel Aviv to a crowd of almost 50,000, in sweltering heat and humidity. But from all accounts, the weather could not put a dampener on the crowd’s enjoyment and appreciation for the band who have stuck it to the BDS creeps time and again.
And it seems the feeling was mutual: according to the Times of Israel, it was the longest Radiohead concert in 11 years (They played two encores totalling 10 songs). Needless to say, there was no cursing or middle finger exploits directed at the crowd either!
Israellycool contributor Jono was there and this is what he had to say:
Apart from the superlatives – this is an amazing band and they put on a hell of a show – great sound, great multimedia presentation, etc., its clear that this is a serious band with challenging, very uncommercial music and a huge fanbase here in Israel that goes back a quarter century. And it was just obvious that they respected that. Other than a few songs (the vast majority of them from their first 3 albums like Creep, The Bends and Karma Police all of which they played in the encore), most of their music doesn’t get played on commercial radio. Their fans have to buy their albums and immerse themselves in them. Thom Yorke lets his music speak for him. He doesn’t make speeches, he’s not Bono who wears his politics on his sleeve. So for nearly 2 hours he barely said a word to the audience other than “Yalla” into the next song once and a couple of thank yous. But then toward the end of the show he acknowledged the audience by talking about their first show in Israel way back in 1993 and you could just understand that this was him saying “we appreciate you – all 47,000 of you – and your loyalty to us so we would never insult you by boycotting you”. It’s not about politics, it’s about a connection between the band and its fans, where ever they are. They might be liberals who dislike Bibi and Trump, but it’s irrelevant to the purpose of their music. The show just felt like a tribute to a devoted group of people that have stuck with them for the best part of 3 decades and have contributed to the band’s success.
As usual, I have collated video from the concert so you can feel like you were almost there.
And before their final song of the night, Thom Yorke addressed the BDS-holes.
— Richard Ferrer (@richferrer) July 19, 2017