Last year, Rock Daily put Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste to work blogging live from Coachella. He'll be filing dispatches from the road about his band's tour with Radiohead over the next week.
So with Lollapalooza and a few of our own headlining shows in Louisville and Nashville under our belt, yesterday D-day came. It was time to play with Radiohead.
I'm not going to lie, this is probably the most excited any of us in the band have ever been about touring or performing, but we were also insanely nervous. The first thing that struck me was just how massive their crew is. None of us had ever seen something so big. We arrived early to the venue in Indianapolis and met some of the crew, immediately relieved to find out everyone was extremely nice. But the question remained, would we even get to meet the band? Sometimes with a band so big as Radiohead you get this image of them just rolling up in a car minutes before there set being ushered onto the stage, playing and then fleeing the stage. Not so!
The first time they saw us Thom Yorke and Ed O'Brien immediately came up and introduced themselves, thanking us for coming on tour with them. Thanking us? After meeting everyone we walked out for a sound check under their insanely amazing lighting rig and took some pictures amidst it.
The crowd started filtering in, the most eager of which literally RUNNING to the front of the pit for the best spot and the field people just casually soaking up the sun and setting up camp. The scene was surreal.
Last year when I blogged Coachella for RS.com, I had a lot of snarky comments but I'm afraid for this experience you are just going to be hearing the musings of a gushing reverted teenager. The whole experience feels like you are going in and out of dream.
We played our set to a surprisingly receptive and awesome audience. There's always the fear you might get booed or have people heckle you, lord knows it's happened before to us before, but it didn't. We even had people request songs. We've been recording a new album this summer and were just really excited and anxious to start playing new material, so we decided since most people wont know who we are, why not play new stuff for them, so we've been mixing in four new songs each night both at festivals and with Radiohead. The new song "Two Weeks" we played on Letterman recently went really well, and ending with "While you wait for others" has been really fun.
After we finished our set, in a sort of euphoric daze we immediately went into the crowd to get ready for the main act whom I'd only seen once before when Kid A came out at the Roseland Ballroom and I got there late and was stuck in the back with drunk guys yelling a lot. I caught a bunch of their set at Lollapalooza this year too and it was incredible but I was so far away. This night I was about 15 feet from the stage.
First off, I always forget how huge they are. I conceptually understand there are 24,000 people here in Indianapolis going apeshit for them, but it isn't until you hear them SCREAM that it hits you like a ton of bricks. I was immediately in show mode and for the whole set, I essentially forgot that we had even played until the end when Thom thanked us and I remembered, oh weird, we were up there a few hours ago.
Their show was incredible, and as ass kissy as it may sound, it's just a fact. The lighting is incredible, the flow and energy is phenomenal. There are no lulls. The sound was spot on. It's basically a lesson in how to really perform. I keep thinking, damn I need to have more stage presence as I watched them bounce around on stage and literally hold a thousands of people's attention.
After the show the band sat outside of our bus on some fold out chairs we got at a pharmacy and just sort of sat there in shock of what happened. Everyone had equally awesome experiences in the crowd. Chris Bear's family was there and his dad said "man this is some awesome psychedelic stuff"
It's just so great to know that a show so awesome can come from such down to earth friendly people. Another thing to always remember.
Now on to Ohio! Venue looks incredi