August 11, 2008 / 3:40 AM / in 10 years

Radiohead rocks NY-area fest for a second night

NEW YORK (Billboard) - For the second night in a row, Radiohead fans descended upon New Jersey’s Liberty State Park on Saturday to hear the band rock the inaugural All Points West music festival.

Thom Yorke of the band Radiohead performs during the All Points West Concert August 8, 2008 in Jersey City, New Jersey. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Staged across the Hudson River from Manhattan, the event’s second day drew a larger, more enthusiastic crowd to Radiohead’s main stage performance, another mesmerizing blend of new songs and classic hits.

The two-hour-plus performance was anything but a duplicate of the previous night’s show. Though both sets drew largely on material from Radiohead’s 2007 “In Rainbows” album (the driving “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” and the serene “All I Need” stood out as highlights on both evenings), Saturday’s show featured a more upbeat set list, and included additional gems from the band’s back catalog, such as “No Surprises,” “The National Anthem,” “Airbag” and “Fake Plastic Trees.”

Frontman Thom Yorke and his bandmates commanded an eerie control over the audience, which stood in silent reverence during tranquil ballads like “Exit Music (For a Film)” and “House of Cards” and exploded with jubilation during anthems such as “The Bends” and “Idiotque.”

As impressive as the band’s musicianship was its state-of-the-art light show — a towering display that has been lauded for its energy efficiency (the rig is powered by solar-charged batteries and uses one-fourth of the amps required by traditional concert lighting systems) as well as its innovative design.

Radiohead capped off a day that featured performances by 14 acts across three stages. Other highlights included appearances by New York’s Animal Collective, who dazzled the hometown crowd with a mid-afternoon set of avant-garde rock, and hip-hop band the Roots, whose funky sunset performance included a jammy, 15-minute version of their hit “You Got Me.”

Day two also offered standout sets by a diverse range of established and up-and-coming acts, such as Southern rockers Kings of Leon, Canadian indie darlings Metric, synth-pop revisionists Chromeo, folky New York quartet the Felice Brothers and enchanting New Jersey singer/songwriter Nicole Atkins.


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