The year was 2006, and I had just heard that Radiohead was headlining the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, the festival that I had been attending since its inception in 2002.   At the time, and really to this day, this is the announcement that put Bonnaroo into the upper echelons of the modern day US Festival circuit, essentially toppling any other festival in its path, as far as “epicness” goes.  When this announcement was made, the only thing in my mind was “I NEED to get my ticket immediately.”  There was simply no other option, as Manchester, TN is where I would be on this particular weekend in June.

I had seen Radiohead in ’97 at the Tibetan Freedom Concert after OK Computer came out, and again when they played MTV’s Live at the 10 Spot at The Beacon Theatre.  But something about this was different; it was a chance to see my favorite band in a festival setting, similar to those that they play over in Europe.  To use the word excited is a gross understatement; ecstatic doesn’t even do it.

Fast-forward to June, Beck had just put on a great set, and now we all would sit and wait in anticipation for the performance that would eventually go down as the best performance in Bonnaroo’s history.  And for those that were there to witness it, it is hard to argue otherwise.  Even those that work for Superfly Presents would say the say same, I would imagine.

What we got on this particular night was an almost 3-hour, 29-song set of sheer brilliance from arguably the best band in the world, and a set that even Thom Yorke has gone on record saying is one of his favorite performances ever.  Well, as many of my friends know, this IS my favorite performance of music EVER; and if you are a Radiohead fan, you understand why.

This is the performance in which Radiohead introduced many of the songs that would appear on 2007′s In Rainbows, and played just about everything that one might want to hear, from a beautiful “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”, a trippy “Paranoid Android”, and a “National Anthem” that had people losing their shit, to a “Karma Police” – in which Thom messed up the beginning, only to start again – that had a sing-along at the end that had chills running up your spine, as many of us had quite literally lost ourselves for more than just a minute there.

The mixing of the recording was done by Paul Phipps, who had this to say about the recording, via

It’s hard to believe this was over 5 years ago, but a friend of mine was running sound that night. He snagged the 2-track master from the board and handed the raw WAV over to me. I felt like I scored the mix of a lifetime. I’ve spent twenty years behind mixing consoles and mastering is one of my fortes, so I couldn’t wait to pull the best out of this one.

After two months of wrangling, I finally came up with a mix that I loved. Everything is crystal clear. I have heard every “official” Radiohead live release and none of them sound this clear. After 5 years of keeping this to myself, I had a talk with my friend — and he gave me to the OK to go ahead and release this to the public on the 5th anniversary of this awesome show. Of course, they could tell me to take it down any moment, so I would download the files below as soon as possible.”

This is something that should be downloaded immediately, as it is anybody’s guess as to how long these links will be up.  You can download the performance in two parts here and here.

Here is a look at the setlist from that most epic of nights:

There There
2 + 2 = 5
15 Step
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Exit Music (for a Film)
Kid A
Dollars and Cents
No Surprises
Paranoid Android
The Gloaming
The National Anthem
Climbing Up the Walls
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
The Bends
How to Disappear Completely

You and Whose Army?
Pyramid Song
Like Spinning Plates
Fake Plastic Trees
Karma Police

Encore 2:
House of Cards
Everything in Its Right Place

Here is a video of “House of Cards” from Bonnaroo, courtesy of FuseTV: