Radiohead Finally Play Israel Show

The Move Has Come with its 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 last scheduled concert of 2017 last night.

The show–taking place in the TERRIBLE country of Israel (oooh, man) after weeks of back and forth between the band and Israel boycotters/popular musicians-who-identify-as-such–was the longest in ten years for the band, featuring over 27 songs (setlist below) and running over two (2) hours. 

With the mics on, frontman Thom Yorke didn't have much to say, but he did offer some poignant words *TheMostPoignantWords near the end:

'A lot of stuff has been said about this, but in the end, we play some music.'

The stir was concocted exactly how one would think it was: people, including musicians Brian Eno and Roger Waters, have come out stringently 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, I guess aside from every other fucking time some international act plays Israel).

Were the anti-Israel-ists in the (Absolute) wrong to go after Radiohead for simply wanting to bring music to people? Were they right in some way? 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’? 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'?

In the perfect world, this wouldn't have been an issue, but this isn’t ‘the perfect world’. There is certainly an argument for having politics (actually, no: philosophy (educated, critical thinking)) more in our everyday lives, or at least now more so than a few years ago. Things brewing for over a century seem to be coming to cultivation right now (omg), and people need to be as informed as humanly possible when it comes to power, society and the potential relations between the two, 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 (relax)–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'?

No, that phrase is so cliche anymore…

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