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Massive Sound Problems During Radiohead’s Set At Coachella

Radiohead at the Shrine in August 2016


On Friday, still high from my Radiohead experience at Santa Barbara Bowl, I watched the streaming of their set at Coachella late at night. If their Santa Barbara performance was a dream, their first weekend Coachella appearance didn’t go smoothly to say the least. The band had to leave the stage twice because of recurrent technical problems! Suddenly there was simply no sound at all, and you could see the band continuing playing the song with an almost complete silence, except for the screams coming from the crowd. I first thought it was a problem with the streaming but no, the stage sound was really gone, and I would have been pissed off if I had spend hundreds of dollars to see them at Coachella to witness this mess, I bet the sound guys got fired or something. There was a first sound drop during the 5th song, ’15 Step’, during the 7th song ‘Let Down’, and even many glitches in the sound system during ‘Ful Stop’, the 3rd song they played, already noted by die hard fans. If you were reading the comments of these people, they criticized the sound mix all night long! It finally got better, but still had some glitches. ‘My toaster could stream the audio better,’ wrote one of them, it was a joke-fest all set long, and this sabotage soon turned into blasphemy.

You can expect this from fans, but the funniest thing had to be the rapidity at which Pitchfork managed to report the malfunctioning! It was about 11:15 pm when this happened and barely 15 minutes later, Pitchfork had already published this article about it, reprinting Thom Yorke’s funny jokes to cope with the recurring problems: ‘Fuckin’ aliens again,’ he said first, then ‘Can you actually hear me now?’ after the band returned on stage after the second technical problem, ‘I’d love to tell you a joke, lighten the mood, something like that. But this is Radiohead, so fuck it.’

Yorke was of course funny, but the most hilarious thing had to be this Pitchfork’s as-fast-as-lightning posting about anything related to Radiohead, their staff writers immediately jumped from their chairs to tweet the hell out of Yorke’s quote. Sure, it was massive fucked up during the performance of one of the greatest rock bands that still exists, but at this point, Thom Yorke could do the most insignificant thing on stage, he could rearrange his man-bun during ‘Everything In Its Right Place,’ and they would wrote a 1,000-word piece about it.

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