After nearly causing two riots with an extremely sold out two night run at Roseland Ballroom, and then a falsely rumored performance at Occupy Wall Street that made national news, Radiohead has finally returned to the New York area to play two shows at the Prudential Center in Newark. The large capacity of the arena made tickets generally easily available and kept the focus on the music, as the band swept through the entirety of their latest album, The King of Limbs, each night. To round out the night, Radiohead dipped into a little of everything from their expansive catalogue, with notable exceptions being any tracks from The Bends or Pablo Honey, though this is standard procedure for Radiohead. While Limbs is much mellower than than previous studio efforts, the tracks truly resonate well and come to life in the live setting.

The set lists remained fairly consistent with one another from night to night, with slight changes in song selection. First and foremost, when going to see Radiohead, one should not expect a greatest hits set; this is, very simply, not their style. Radiohead is one of the greatest bands in the world, and while they put on one of the best live shows out there, they refuse to cater their set to churning out all of their hits. If you came to the show expecting to hear “Creep” and “High and Dry“, guess again, because that is simply not the case. This band does what they want, when they want to, and makes no excuses for it – which has been the case for the better part of their existence. While they love their extremely dedicated fans, they refuse to be a nostalgia act, and choose to evolve as time goes on – as Thom Yorke said on Thursday night, “We’re not ready for the greatest hits yet….when we are we’ll be dead.”

Caribou opened both nights, and their set on Friday was stellar. While you can tell that Caribou frontman and composer Daniel Snaith is directly influenced by Radiohead, he is definitely a dance aficionado as well. Caribou has this very New Deal-esque sound; it’s like space-disco, with some pop and electro thrown in the mix, and their ethereal lyrics/vocals top it all off. When they play in the pocket and find their groove, it’s hard not to get down and rage. They are definitely the perfect band to open up for Radiohead and are very impressive overall. Check out their tracks “Odessa” ( “Sun” (

After a brief break in between bands, Radiohead emerged on the stage to a spirited round of applause and went right into “Bloom“, the opening track from The King of Limbs. What is instantly mesmerizing is Radiohead’s lighting and screen setup. Stage designer Andi Watson had been working with Radiohead for years, and has always taken the creative freedom that he has been given by the band to reach new heights; and to the delight of fans, he always delivers. After playing both “Staircase” and “The Daily Mail“, both B-sides from Limbs, they played killer versions of “Myxomatosis” and “The Gloaming” off of 2003′s Hail to the Thief to the satisfaction of many fans.

As the set continued, “The National Anthem” was perfectly placed towards the end of the main set, whereas it appeared in the second encore the previous night. With those opening, heavy bass lines, the Prudential Center was led into to a dance-driven, sing-along for the masses. “Idioteque” from Kid A, always a crowd favorite, ended the set – but not without a bit of a hiccup by Jonny Greewood, which led Thom Yorke to laugh, say “Fuck It”, and cut the song off a few measures early.

They returned for the encore with “How to Disappear Completely“, which led into “Supercollider“, a track that originally debuted at a solo Thom Yorke performance a few years back before being officially released as a single in 2011 for Record Store Day. A bust-out of “Go to Sleep” from Hail to the Thief had many in the crowd going nuts, as this song hasn’t been played since 2004. The first encore ended with “Paranoid Android“, which was the only track played from Ok Computer this evening. Thom had his own brief mishap during the song when he skipped the “Ambition makes you look pretty ugly, Kicking and squealing Gucci little piggy….” lyrics and jumped right into “You don’t remember, You don’t remember”. The band played right through it without much of a hitch though, and continued on in fine fashion.

A second encore saw “Give Up the Ghost“, which was followed by a beautiful “Reckoner” from In Rainbows. Before ending the night with “Everything in its Right Place“, the band played a snippet from REM’s “The One I Love“, possibly as a nod to Michael Stipe who was rumored to be in the crowd; though, they did the same thing at the Roseland shows last October as well.

Overall, it was a great night, great crowd, and great show. For a band that has been around for over twenty years, Radiohead continues to push the envelope and bring a live show that is second to none. They have never let their artistic integrity be compromised by the music industry and the opinion of the masses, and have paved the way for other artists to do the same; all while garnering a one of the most dedicated fan bases in the music industry. Radiohead, please don’t ever stop doing what you do.

-Chris Meyer

SetlistBloom, 15 Step, Bodysnatchers, Kid A, Staircase, The Daily Mail, Myxomatosis, The Gloaming, Separator, Pyramid Song, Morning Mr. Magpie, Identikit, Lotus Flower, The National Anthem, Feral, Idioteque

EncoreHow to Disappear Completely, Supercollider,Go to Sleep (First Time Since 2004), Paranoid Android