Radiohead. What can one say about the band that hasn't been said and repeated ad nauseum?
Sure, there may be dozens of great bands hitting a variety of stages around the Lollapalooza grounds today, but the one band on everybody's lips will be Radiohead, who return to Lollapalooza with a new album in the stores called A Moon Shaped Pool that is, by all accounts, a serious return to form after nearly a decade spent trying to figure out where they wanted to go. During that time, of course, they issued albums In Rainbows, Hail To The Thief And The King Of Limbs that seem united by a general sense of unease in the Radiohead camp.
Let's face it, the whole world knows "Karma Police" (from 1998's OK Computer), but very few could name even one song from any Radiohead release. The band are only partly to blame, having seemingly gone out of their way to not ever appear to commercial or mainstream. Like Wilco's Jeff tweedy, Radiohead's Thom Yorke is someone who seems almost repulsed by mainstream acceptance, yet, with a band that big, it is necessary to "play ball" to a certain degree or risk finding yourself unable to afford to play smaller venues because the largesse of the organization that is Radiohead these days.
So which Radiohead will we, the unwashed Lollapalooza masses, be greeted by as darkness descends upon Grant Park and the glow sticks from the M83 show have all died out? Will we get "the hits" or a meandering mix of instrumental atmospherics with a heavy dose of tracks from the new album?
Either way, it will be refreshing for those in attendance to lose themselves in the oceanic (as in "ebb and flow") interaction between living, breathing musicians playing off of one another as opposed to the myriad of acts who merely hit "PLAY" on their Ableton rigs and then lose the battle to make it seem "live" in front of a live audience.
Call it retro, old school, or plain ol' 90s nostalgia, just as long as you actually stick around to see how a band that's been doing it for 30 years leave all others in the dust.