The Evangelical Art of Thom Yorke

Sophie Metcalfe went to see Radiohead in Sydney. Safe to say, she enjoyed it: 

On Monday night something happened. I thought some words should be said about it. I have not been asked to write this article nor do I think it’s going to be very good. Full of grammatical faux pas, subjective gushing and probably some highly politically incorrect comments about Christianity. But, in saying that, when greatness has been experienced, y’all should want to hear about it, right? Don’t worry my little cherubs, I’m not assuming that you are completely naive of the wonders of Radiohead. Some would say that writing a gig review of their current tour would be a farce, a folly, an inconceivable task. Well, you are probably right. However, you also can’t possibly leave this world for two-and-a-quarter hours to slip into an out-of-body experience filled with movement, light, sound, colour, beauty, sadness and heartache and not want to share the gospel.

That. That is exactly what the boys handed the good plebs of Sydney at the Entertainment Centre on Monday night. While I’m not a godly woman, I don’t deny that there was probably once a man named Jesus who was a pretty cool dude and knew how to inspire the very depths of a person’s sense of being. Whether it’s a blessing bestowed by the man upstairs, a birth right of some badass genetics, or some skill learnt from being a squire to an illusionist while touring with a circus in outback Russia, there are – and forever will be – certain individuals who were put on this earth to be a leader. A leader for hearts. A leader for souls. A leader for art, for creation and breaking the norms. That guy who may not dance so good but hey, he’s pretty cool, and all of a sudden you’re dancing the same. This is Thom Yorke.

Flinging himself around the stage in fluid, rabbit-like actions, the man does not just dispel energy but rather forms a symbiotic relationship with body movements and music.

I’m not going to take you through the steps of ‘they played this’ and ‘no, they didn’t play that’. To be quite honest, I probably couldn’t even tell you. Thrown into a massive, unprecedented (to my eyes) three encore set, all bases were definitely covered. Yes, during that two-and-a-quarter hour coma there were uproars when Pyramids began, and clenched hearts when he pulled us up to the melodic beauty of Street Spirit. I heard no Jigsaw Falling Into Place, but he reminded us that everything, was in fact, in its right place. Apart from my brain, which was a pile of mush on the floor and I was making snow angels with it in the gutter.

Yes, dear readers, I write to you a shell of a woman. You most likely will be reading these words thinking they are indulgent, excessive and dripping with personal opinion. But if you want me to put it blatantly, without all of the tears and angst of years gone, the truth is, and come close so I can whisper it to your ears… Simply, these guys are fucking superstars.


Words by Sophie Metcalfe. Photo kindly provided by Adam Lewis.