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Radiohead Light Up All Points West With Two Headlining Performances

August 9, 2008 11:50 PM ET

The first night featured a dedication to Underworld, the second to Kings of Leon, but aside from a few cosmetic differences Radiohead performed a pair of solid two-plus-hour headlining sets at New Jersey's All Points West festival this weekend. Both shows were heavy on material from In Rainbows, and the Friday night crowd emitted a particularly loud rumble of approval for "Idioteque" from Kid A. Orange and yellow lights bathed the audience during "Lucky," waking fans from the drowsy lullaby of "All I Need." With Manhattan looming behind the audience, Thom Yorke dedicated "Pyramid Song" to "a very hectic city."

The band's LED lights were just as mesmerizing on Saturday night, as Radiohead took the stage again to toy with distance and intimacy in a massive setting. The only shots the band allowed on the Jumbotron were extreme close-ups (Yorke's wriggling scruff, a mallet hitting a glockenspiel), so the crowd went craziest for the most tender and human elements of the night — the vulnerable solo vocals on "Nude," the extra slow version of "Exit Music for a Film" — but maybe they were just breaking the tension.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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