Radiohead last night (July 8) closed the second day of Lisbon’s Nos Alive festival with an extensive set that included the formerly little-played ‘Creep’, their 1992 breakthrough single.
The band surprised fans by playing the track for the first time since 2009 at their May 2016 comeback gig in Paris, and have subsequently played it on several occasions. Other big hits and fan-favourites performed at Nos Alive, where the band last headlined as recently as 2012, included ‘Exit Music (For A Film)’, ‘My Iron Lung’, ‘Paranoid Android’ and ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’, which closed the main set.
According to some fans online, the printed version of the set listed ‘Million Dollar Question’ – also from 1992’s ‘Pablo Honey’ – in place of Creep in the encore, and before performing the song, frontman Thom Yorke could be heard saying, “I don’t know, what do you think?”
The band’s performance was certainly not all about nostalgia. They opened with a series of five songs from new album ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, beginning with recent single ‘Burn The Witch’, and managed to capture some of the intimacy of their recent London Roundhouse shows despite playing to more than 50,000 people. The band’s rare interactions with the crowd were quirky; Thom Yorke mumbled something utterly incomprehensible after the opening ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ tracks, and put on a funny voice to say, “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes,” before ‘Street Spirit’. But ultimately, the show ended in a moment of bonding between frontman and crowd, as he strummed a final few bars of ‘Karma Police’ and sang along with the audience.
The day at the festival began with a 6pm performance from Years & Years, whose high-energy moves and all-black athleisure outfits made for a sweaty show. “It’s just really fucking hot,” said Olly Alexander at one point, looking like he was melting. But if he was suffering, he didn’t let it spoil the fun. The set – the UK dance-pop band’s first in Portugal – included a high-energy ‘Border’, the “new-ish” track ‘See Me Now’, first performed in March this year, and ‘Eyes Shut’, which Olly warned might make him cry. The excitable singer was full of praise for the festival, at one point describing it as “the most beautiful place we’ve ever played” and concluding by saying, “Thanks for letting us play on the coolest line-up ever!”
Up next, Foals were full of international harmony too, drummer Jack Bevan sporting a black T-shirt with the words ‘I don’t want to break up with EU’ on it, in reference to the UK’s recent decision to quit the European Union. Frontman Yannis Phillipakkis worked hard to kick the crowd into action, promising a “fucking good time” and refusing to play closing track ‘What Went Down’ until the crowd roared loudly enough. “You don’t sound ready,” he said, wagging a finger.
It must have had some effect. Tame Impala, next on, caused men and women in the crowd to spontaneously take their clothes off as soon as the big screen’s cameras were pointed at them, making the live feed seem like a late night flick through the lower reaches of the Freeview channels. “I see what you’re doing down there, Portugal,” said frontman Kevin Parker at one point, slightly disapprovingly. “I see you taking off your clothes. Hey, I’m kidding. Do what you want – it’s a festival, right?”
The band’s sundown set showed why they’ve become firm favourites on the festival circuit, with highlights including the stomping ‘Elephant’, Mark Ronson collaboration ‘Daffodils’ and a transcendent ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ – complete with a shower of confetti.
Some of Tame’s nudity-inducing fervour transferred across site to Father John Misty’s set at the Heineken stage too – the bearded singer-songwriter was mauled by adoring fans as he prowled the front row, and he was even, at one point, presented with a bra, which he duly hung over his mic stand. Eat your heart out, Tom Jones.
After Radiohead’s show-stopping performance, seemingly every single person left on site flooded the Heineken stage for Two Door Cinema Club‘s rapturously-received set, and a closing, 2.40am show from the ever-reliable Hot Chip.
The festival, celebrating its 10th year in 2016, concludes tonight with a headline performance from Arcade Fire.