Radiohead Finally Play Israel Show

The Move Has Come with its Fair Share of Controversy

Radiohead live (photo taken by Hadel Segal)

Radiohead live (photo taken by Hadel Segal)

7/19/17, 7:44 pm EDT

By John Corry, photo by Hadel Segal, taken from Twitter

Radiohead played their highly controversial last scheduled show of 2017 last night. The show, taking place in Israel after weeks of back and forth with Israel boycotters and popular musicians who identify as such, was the longest in ten years for the band, featuring over 27 songs (setlist below) and running for over two (2) hours. 

Thom Yorke didn't have much to say throughout the thing, it's not like enough hasn't been said about it already, but he did offer some poignant *TheMostPoignant words near the end: 'A lot of stuff has been said about this, but in the end, we play some music.'

Musicians including Brian Eno and Roger Waters have come out against the show, citing inhumane acts and restrictions against Palestinians in reference to the complicated political situation in the geographical area over there, making it one of the most politically potent rock/music shows in recent memory (well, aside from every other time some international act plays Israel), and, given what seems to be happening in the world right now #APOCALYPSE!!! , perhaps all of history as well #OhNo,IDidn'tGoThere...

Were the anti-Israel-ists in the wrong to go after Radiohead so much simply for wanting to bring music to people? Were they right? Israel is a complicated situation, and there are arguments for both sides; none of which, however, see through progression to reality unless they're handled with care, and understanding that getting triggered doesn't fucking do anything. How do people stop themselves from getting triggered? Are there any kinds of things we already know which may aid the prospect, like meditation, kindness or a better economy? Was Thom Yorke triggered when he publicly responded to the arguments by saying: "We don't endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America'?

If one thing is for sure *SoForSure , it's that in a perfect world, this wouldn't have been an issue. There is certainly an argument for having politics more in our everyday lives, or at least now more so than they were a few years ago. Things brewing for over a century seem to be coming to cultivation right now, and people need to be as informed as humanly possible when it comes to power, society and the relation between the two all work(s), but none of us are doing anything if we're telling people that talking politics (let alone resolutely arguing over them) is in any way even equal to letting people escape temporarily through rock concerts–with other people, mind you, regardless of race, nationality, or religion–or that listening to 'music', regardless of the 'political' connotations, is a bad thing.

Maybe Thom Yorke had a point when he said, in yet another response to the controversy #DoesHeEverSHUTTHEFUCKUP?!?!?! , that music is about 'crossing borders, not building them.'

Radiohead's 2017 Tel Aviv Setlist: 

Ful Stop
15 Step
All I Need
Pyramid Song
Everything in Its Right Place
Let Down
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
The Numbers
2 + 2 = 5

No Surprises
Like Spinning Plates
Lotus Flower
Paranoid Android

Encore 2:
The Bends
There There
Karma Police