Live Review, 4/11/12: Radiohead Moves to the Beat in San Jose

Radiohead

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HP Pavilion, San Jose

Better than: The way you will dance to weird rhythms when you are 43 and have two kids.

Maybe “dancing” isn't quite the right word for it, but whatever you want to call that moving thing Thom Yorke does to the music Radiohead makes these days, let's all be really grateful that it happens. Onstage in San Jose last night, Yorke stopped his jigging, bouncing, and limb-shaking only when seated behind a keyboard or saddled with a guitar. The rest of the time, his jester-like figure — curt ponytail, scraggly beginnings of a beard, comical skinny red pants, plain vest — fluttered around like a bird that had just eaten a jumping bean.

This movement is important, because it tells you where Yorke — and by extension Radiohead — are at. After the general loathing of the OK Computer era, and the isolated gloom of Kid A and Amnesiac, Yorke (and the band) seem to have found their footing in The Beat. Last night in San Jose, The Beat was a prism through which Radiohead focused many of its best songs, including, of course, selections from that rhythm-heavy new album, King of Limbs.

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