Everywhere Forever

100. Prague, Vystaviste, 23rd August 2009. Part 2.

So, the main event. The gig. My 100th Radiohead gig since 1993, so it was always going to be a bit of an emotional experience. From the off it was also one of the best gigs I’ve seen the band play in a very long time.

The crowd were really up for it, so much so that they couldn’t wait to get on their feet to welcome Moderat (the Mode Selektor/ Apparat collaboration playing the support slot) and it all nearly came unstuck when I got a bit exasperated at being pushed around, but if memory serves, there is always some kind of emotional crux at this point; Let’s call it Stage 1 gig angst.

Stage 2 involves trying to recover from this burst of angry energy to maintain calm until the band come on stage.

Stage 3 is that delicious anticipation as you watch the now familiar ritual of the roadies setting up the stage.

Stage 4, the golden moment when the stage is ready, the towels are down, the bottled water and set lists are on the floor and there’s one or two more tunes left on the mix tape before the opening theme starts. After this, once the chaps are have come on and kicked in we reach Stage 5.

Symptoms include facial spasm from continual grinning, involuntary jumping up and down, a weird head and shoulder movement we shall christen the “Yorke twitch” and myriad other bizarre physical ticks unexplainable to anyone who’s not there, or who has never been there before. I had to apologise in advance to the lady behind me, who was enjoying her first ever gig, knowing that I would be all flailing elbows and whiplash hair.

This gig was unusual in that there was a stage 6 reaction. I had emailed in advance and was hoping the band were aware of my “gigaversary”. Towards the end of the show, Thom gave me a mention before playing Airbag. “This is for Lucy who is 100 today.”

Stage 6, I’ve discovered, involves screaming at the top of my voice, experiencing all the other symptoms simultaneously and then bursting into tears of pure joy. It also involved Thom having to shush us before starting the song… bet no one’s put THAT on youtube. To be honest I’d been pretty close to this state before that moment (the best ever performance of Nude, the unaccompanied Thom vocal at the end of There There, Jonny really going for it during Bangers & Mash… all highlights) but a dedication, from the band that very rarely does dedications, made the night extra special.

Afterwards, drained, stunned, exhausted and thirsty I rejoined the group at the back of zone 1, and was crushed into some sort of mass pile-on bear hug. Apparently they’d been able to access the beer tent from this vantage point… We were fabulous and it was a bloody good laugh!

Later, I stumbled out of the backstage area to find I was clutching a wine glass. Thom Yorke’s wine glass.