NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Radiohead in New Orleans is a rare event, and to have one of the world's biggest and most respected bands playing here Monday is simply a big deal. "Big" is a subjective term, but Radiohead is special, thus big is easy to attach to the British rock group's appearance in the Big Easy.
Radiohead's impending show at the Smoothie King Center has a different aura to it, and maybe that's because they've only played here twice since their debut album Pablo Honey was released in 1993. Their live shows are highly regarded. Ask any fan who's attended one of their shows and the reaction is nothing less than effusive.
The British superstars also have achieved that rare feat of staying creative and relevant throughout their nearly three-decade-long careers, releasing nine full-length albums that are for the most part universally praised. They've also done this without any lineup changes, which is rarefied air as well.
While they are a group in the truest sense of collaboration, Thom Yorke is the band's leader and lead songwriter. Yorke, lead singer and multi-instrumentalist, has helped guide Radiohead through a maze of styles and sounds with great success. While they broke through in '93 with Creep, a grungy sounding rocker, not many could see that as a precursor to what was to come.
Radiohead set the music world on notice with their second album, The Bends. Yorke channeled his sweet David Gates-like (of Bread fame) falsetto to some of the album's most interesting songs, Fake Plastic Trees and High & Dry.
Fake Plastic Trees
After they released OK Computer in '97 and Kid A in 2000, Radiohead was elevated to rock royalty. The songs were fresh and of its time while paying homage to their influences. Karma Police is Yorke channeling John Lennon White Album Beatles.
What makes those albums truly exceptional though is if you play them today, you see how far ahead they were sonically. The albums hold up as some of the strongest work put out in the last couple of decades.
Everything in Its Right Place & Idioteque (Lollapalooza Chicago 2016)
Since the new millennium, Radiohead has constantly challenged the musical status quo with albums Amnesiac (2001), Hail to the Thief (2003), In Rainbows (2007), The King of Limbs (2011) and finally A Moon Shaped Pool released in May of last year.
Burn The Witch
From Hail to the Thief to A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead has set the standard for the modern era rock album and has placed a flag in the ground for those who have suggested Rock is dead. The show is sold out, gates open at 6:30 while the concert starts at 7:30 with Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis opening up.