Home > Red Spiral Notebook > [June, 1995] Radiohead. Ah, Radiohead.

[June, 1995] Radiohead. Ah, Radiohead.

Actual t-shirt I got at the concert. 18+ years later, it's still one of my favorites.

Actual t-shirt I got at the concert. 18+ years later, it’s still one of my favorites.

6/2/95

Radiohead. Ah Radiohead.

Wearing the t-shirt as I write this. We got to Tramps fairly early (20-30 minutes). There were already people lined up against the partition (that metal thing between the stage and us with a gap to catch crowd surfers and such) so I was at least going to be in the second row. Then a guy in front of me left and there I was, holding on to the metal bar with an unblocked view of the stage.

David Gray (the opener) wasn’t too bad; played a little too long, though.

They made announcements of upcoming shows at Tramps and when they said Afghan Whigs I positively freaked out.

Radiohead came out later, started out w/”The Bends.” I was between [facing] Thom and gorgeous guitarist Jonny Greenwood. They were great. I didn’t even notice the absence of “Stop Whispering” until Anita mentioned it on the way home. “Anyone Can Play Guitar” was wonderful.   

Radiohead Tramps 1995 Set List

I’ve still kept the set list, too.

I asked a roadie walking around onstage if they gave out drumsticks and he said only if they’re broken. Then he went looking for one w/a flashlight around the drum kit. He came back, trying to hold the drumstick by his side so as to hide it and said, “sh…” as he handed it over to me. This guy next to me (not the set list guy) asked if he could touch it and I let him.

Then Anita and I just walked around Tramps a little until I spotted an Afghan Whigs poster. I ran over and started spazzing about how much I had to go. This really stoned blond guy who was standing there jumped up and took the poster down, handing it to me. I thanked him profusely for it and then he started saying how he wanted it. No matter, it’s mine, I’m going to hang it up along with my set list which was autographed but I’m getting to that.

As we kept walking (still inside) I spotted a roadie who had hit his head earlier while setting up for Radiohead. I started talking to him and he was really nice (had a very cool accent), pretty cute too. He let it slip that the band would be coming back here in about 8 weeks. Then Anita saw Jonny on stage and I rushed over calling his name.

He came down to the gap between the gate and the stage and shook our hands. He’s quite beautiful, amazing bone structure. He signed my set list. Then I spotted the bassist, his brother Colin, all the way on the other side. He signed my set list too.

It was a glorious night, a most amazing concert experience. Hope I have this much luck at the Whigs show (please oh please let Greg be very social and hang out afterwards).

I’m going to put the drumstick (not broken at all but sort of gnawed-at looking) near Trent’s guitar pick. The set list will be hung up near the autographed Sponge flat. I’ll be able to open up my own museum w/all this stuff soon!

What can I possibly add to this thorough account?

I have to admit, I still hold it as a point of pride that I got to see Radiohead so early on in their career, at such a small venue. Total capacity for Tramps was around 1,000 people but it felt even smaller that that, like you were watching a show in somebody’s basement. But then to be in the first row of people, too, was just incredible. I don’t think I ever saw a band perform at a better venue in the ’90s, at least in terms of intimacy.

And it was definitely memorable show in terms of getting not only a great piece of memorabilia but having two members of the band sign it, too. And it’s awesome to be able to have an account of the songs they performed that night. The letters at the bottom stood for the four songs they performed as the encore: “You”, “Bulletproof..I Wish I Was”*, and “Street Spirit.”

I don’t think I ever could have predicted Radiohead would have become as big as they were. I would have guessed they’d go the way of Belly or Catherine Wheel, moderately successful for a time, a decent amount of MTV and radio play for a couple of years and then a fade into obscurity. I certainly wouldn’t have expected their music to take such an odd and esoteric turn after that concert and yet still continue to grow their fan base.    

In any event, if I could have created a blueprint for the perfect concert when I was 17-years-old, seeing Radiohead at Tramps would be the closest thing to matching it.  

* I only just noticed that the song title is missing an extra period in the ellipsis and I’m trying not to let that drive me crazy.
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  1. Liz
    January 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Oh, Tramps.
    I can’t remember how many shows I saw there, but I do know that at one of them I stood and sat on the floor up front by that metal bar for an hour or two before the show so I could be right there. Then during the show, people started pushing really hard from behind and that bar was shoved right up in my midsection. I decided it would be safer to back up a row or two, only to then be shoved face-first into a burly man wearing the sweatiest fake fur coat I have ever encountered. :P Yeech. To this day, I wonder if the experience was a formative aspect of my fear of crowds… :/

    • Liz
      January 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      I don’t know why there’s a smiley face in there – I probably meant a grossed-out face :P

      • Liz
        January 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        Yep, it happened again. It should have been a tongue-sticking-out emoticon…now I feel thwarted in my self-expression! Winky face.

    • January 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Yep, I remember that metal bar and it’s a wonder I didn’t crack a rib. But it was still better than being crushed on all sides by people, if the band you were seeing was worth it. (And don’t worry, I totally read that as a grossed out smiley.)

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