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How stoked are fans for Radiohead? Just ask these artists

What can you say about Radiohead that hasn't already been said a thousand times over?

Rock revolutionaries, the most influential band of its generation, possibly the greatest band on earth — and music industry mutineers to boot. They might be the only artists in the world who can release an album for free (or whatever you feel like paying) online, then sit back and watch the traditional version of the same album debut at No. 1 three months later.

For fans in Florida, the news that Radiohead's first stateside tour in five years would bring them to Tampa Bay for the first time since 1995 was unquestionably A Big Deal. The moment tickets to Tuesday's concert at the Ford Amphitheatre went on sale, thousands of local fans hit to snap them up.

It's yet another mark of the band's brilliance that so many of those fans are musicians themselves.

So since we've nothing left to say about Radiohead, we'll let the fans speak. Why does Radiohead still mean so much to so many? That's the question we posed to some of Tampa Bay's finest musicians, all of whom will be in the crowd Tuesday night. — Jay Cridlin

Dean Johanesen, 35, Bradenton

Band: The Human Condition

Where he's sitting: Section 7, Row D, Seat 17

Why he's going: "I saw them in West Palm the last time they came around, and I was just amazed. I didn't know if they could pull (their music) off live, but they kind of surpassed what I felt they did on the records. Something about what they do, experimental sounds and noises — there's just a lot of ear candy, you might say, that you might not get with other bands. As a musician, you get so used to the standard chord progressions and regular melodies that it's nice when somebody branches out, breaks all the rules, and still makes it work. It doesn't seem like they're trying to do something different; it seems like that's just what they do."

Adam Husarek, 25, Thonotosassa

Band: Lush Progress

Where he's sitting: Section 12, Row CC, Seat 33

Why he's going: "There are so many Radiohead songs that I wish I wrote. There are the classics, like Paranoid Android, Everything in its Right Place, Just ... Actually, one of my favorite Radiohead tunes is one of their less-popular songs, a tune called Climbing Up the Walls off OK Computer. That's a brilliant song. It's just so creepy. It has this darkness to it that's not cliched; it just captures this really eerie, weird mood. I think that's one of the greatest achievements that any artist or musician can make, is capturing a unique emotion that someone else has yet to capture."

Chris Peters, 18, Odessa

Band: Hat Trick Heroes

Where he's sitting: Section 7, Row AA, Seats 10, 11 and 12 (with bandmates Mikey, far left, and Santino Rumore)

Why he's going: "I've always, always wanted to see Radiohead live. You have no idea how much I listen to them; I listen to them probably every day. There's just something about their music — they do something that no other band before or after them has been able to do. They can convey a certain emotion and feeling by using these weird sounds and melodies and moods. ... For me, the biggest thing is, all of Thom Yorke's melodies are creepy, minor-key melodies that kind of float over the song. When I write music, I try to emulate that — but not to the point where we sound like Radiohead. It happens all the time when we're writing music. We'll be like, 'Aw, that kind of sounds like Radiohead!' 'Yes! That's a good thing!' "

Mat Bowman, 33, Tampa

Band: Jarvik 7

Where he's sitting: Section 14, Row EE, Seat 29

Why he's going: "Every record they put out is completely different than the one prior. They just do what they want to do, instead of putting out the same album over and over again, like a lot of bands. ... The first time I heard the band was in high school. Me and a friend saw the Creep video, and that guitar line, where he kind of smacks it real quick, that's when I wanted that record. I bought Pablo Honey and thought it was fine, but not that big a deal. But when I heard Paranoid Android from OK Computer, that song blew me away. Paranoid Android is almost three songs in one. It starts with a cool beat and cool words, and then it just takes off and flies back down. It's hard to explain, but the way it comes into that lush sound, then kicks right back into the rock 'n' roll again? That's pretty cool."

Matt Slate, 32, Brandon

Band: King of Spain

Where he's sitting: Section 16, Row Z, Seat 1

Why he's going: "My favorite period of Radiohead has to be the Kid A/Amnesiac era. Admittedly, I don't listen to them that often these days, but I can always bust (those albums) out at any given moment. For me, it was the first time that a band had totally pulled a 180 on me and shifted their direction, coming from the earlier, more rock 'n' roll stuff. I liked that they were able to get away with doing that, with exploring their own creativity. Idioteque on Kid A was one of those moments where I was like, wow. How seamlessly they seemed to switch from big guitar rock to electronic music that actually seemed just as big and grandiose."

Doug Fender, 35, Tampa

Band: Red Room Cinema

Where he's sitting: The lawn

Why he's going: "OK Computer really changed a lot for me, musically. Like, once you hear it, you know people are going to be listening to that record for many years to come — the first time I heard it, I could tell it was an instant classic. The music, combined with Thom's voice, is pretty; it can be haunting and eerie at times; it can be loud and chaotic at times. ... When In Rainbows came out, I was right back (into Radiohead). I really like the artists' perspective on how they released it. I think that they got back to where they were trying to go with Amnesiac, and didn't quite make it with Hail to the Thief. I think they were playing more of what people wanted to hear on Hail to the Thief, but In Rainbows was more of what they expected to put out as musicians. I paid full price for the album when it came out."


Band: Win Win Winter

Where he's sitting: The lawn

Why he's going: "I really, really got into The Bends. I think the first song that I can remember completely pulling me in was (Nice Dream), Track 6. When I heard it, it was just so gorgeous to me, I was taken in by everything about the song. … And a lot of my personal taste has progressed in the same way that Radiohead progressed as a band. In the late '90s, I started getting into Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Plaid, Boards of Canada. And I remember reading interviews right before Kid A in which Thom Yorke cited a lot of those records as influences. I just thought it was interesting how that kind of coincided with what I was exploring musically."

— Julie Garisto contributed to this report —


The band plays with Liars at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa. $32.50-$55. (813) 740-2446.

How stoked are fans for Radiohead? Just ask these artists 05/01/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:05pm]
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