A history of Radiohead in Tampa, Part III: The 'In Rainbows' Years

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February

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(In celebration of Radiohead's concert Feb. 29 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, we're revisiting some of the band's most memorable Tampa Bay moments over the past 20 years. Today, we look back at Radiohead's last concert in Tampa, at the Ford Amphitheatre on May 6, 2008 -- the In Rainbows Era.)

Radiohead gave Tampa Bay two concerts in 24 months, in 1993 and 1995. Then it was 13 years before we heard from them again. That means no OK Computer, no Kid A, no Amnesiac, no Hail to the Thief.

Why the gap? Tampa didn't have an outdoor amphitheatre.

The band made one tour stop in Florida during its largely outdoor tour in 2003, and it was at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Tampa's shed didn't open until July 2004. Had it opened one summer earlier, we might have seen Radiohead during the Kid A/Amnesiac years. No such luck.

But on May 6, 2008, the band came to Tampa with opening act Liars, in support of their album In Rainbows. Sean Daly was among the 17,500 in the house, and he wrote:

If you came to quietly enjoy a tech-nerdy quintet work out its Kafka-esque angst via less obvious tracks that shifted from frustrating to quirky to soul-clutching gorgeous, you floated from the venue blissed-out and satisfied.

(Oh, and if you came to gawk at a state-of-the-art light show featuring dozens of floor-length strobes that seemingly danced in unison to each song -- exploding in orange fireworks to the new Reckoner, morphing into an underwater paradise for Weird Fishes/Arpeggi -- wow, dude, that was one of the trippiest things I've ever seen.)

With the mind of a mathematician and the voice of a wounded angel, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke proved once again to be a beautiful misfit, a Lewis Carollian character obsessed with alienation and alien nations, strange equations and fake plastic trees.

Click here for Sean's full Radiohead review.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: John Pendygraft, tbt*

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:01am]

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