Thoughts on Radiohead at the White River Amphitheater

You know what's depressing? When you are staying at a hotel so you can get a good night's sleep instead of doing a long drive home, and you get back to your room late at night -- due to traffic -- and the USA Today for the next morning is already there.

I saw Radiohead at the White River Amphitheater tonight. I planned some more in depth comments, but that was before the traffic.

The opening act (The Liars) came on promptly at 7:30 and played for 35 minutes. At first I hated them because they had this goth-y/emo-y/angst-y/overly self important attitude in their music. But as the set went on the lead signer began doing weird rythmic things with his guitar. I don't think he was making a parody of his genre but I can't be positive. Regardless, he stopped taking himself so seriously, so I grew to respect him. I still didn't care for the music, but that's another matter.

Before he started his last two songs he told people to go get their popcorn and snacks now so they wouldn't miss Radiohead.

Radiohead came on at 9:05 and played for almost an hour and a half. Then they did two fake encores (more on fake encores in another post). They played all the way to about 11:05.

The light show was awesome, relying on LEDs, LASERs, and Fiber Optics. It wasn't just slapped on the show. It was an integral and impressive part of the music. The light show is reason enough to see the show. Here are some lousy pictures I tried to take.

The sound quality was excellent. It wasn't too loud, or at all muddled, which is impressive in an outdoor venue.

Unfortunately, the experience leaving the venue tainted the entire show for me. It also nearly guarantees I will not go to another show at this facility. The traffic was appalling.

Whoever desinged the traffic flow and plan for the White River Amphitheater should be ashamed on them themselves. It's truly disgusting.

I was in the car by 11:50 PM. It took until 1:30 AM to exit the facility.

Then they dumped us on to side roads in the area and directed people to follow specific roads to get around. Traffic still sat there. At about 2:15 I decided to ignore their ridiculous directions and take some back roads. If I hadn't made that decsision I would probably still be stuck in traffic instead of ranting here.

So in summary:

Radiohead = good
White River Amphitheater Civil Engineers = bad


Anonymous said...

not being able to get out of there afterwards would have made me incredibly cranky!

glad the concert was good though

Unknown said...

Do any planners for concert venues truly have a good plan for departures? None around here are easy to navigate. Here in Oshkosh between EAA and Country USA we have 3 weeks a year that an entire section of town are best avoided because of the absurd ideas that have been created for traffic.
FYI pop by the Cafe today, I am spreading some love today, and me thinks you have some waiting for you.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know what CD was playing right before radiohead took stage? it was techno/trance and it all seemed to flow as if it were the same album. i'd really like to know so i can purchase it.

i had a similar experience with the exodus from white river. i was parked somewhere near D5/D6, which is probably the back quarter of the lot. my girlfriend and i decided to bail during the final encore to try and beat traffic--we arrived at my car at 11pm and i shit you not that we didn't make it out of the property until 2:30am. over 3 hours and we left early to beat traffic! i'm not sure if the 5 cars in front of me were just too nice and not aggressive enough to make it into the main outlet or if people are just huge pricks and wouldn't let them out.

i do know at one point there was a traffic staff member near our outlet and all he did was talk to one of the cars in front of me for nearly 30 minutes. someone behind me got out of his car and proceeded to rant about how messed up the situation is and all he could say was "one way in, one way out". radiohead was definitely worth the wait, but i don't see myself returning to that venue anytime soon. if you do attend a show i would highly recommend just sitting in your car with no intention to move and RELAX. having a joint or two and few CDs should make it fairly tolerable...

Unknown said...

I couldn't agree more: The concert was amazing -- sound quality was great, light show was awesome, and Radiohead was, well, the most genius band ever, as usual. I didn't even mind the hour long drive down from Seattle. But the traffic on the way out!? I thought I was going to have a meltdown after an hour and a half of sitting in my car and not moving more than 25 feet. The concert ended at 11:05, and I got home at 3am. I will NEVER see another show in that venue again! There has to be a better way to direct cars out of there -- it's just horrible planning.

Cromely said...

@flit: Fortunately, when I get cranky, I get quiet. It minimizes the trouble I get into.

@sassy mama bear: I've been to some bad ones, but this mess is the worst.

@anonymous: I'm not sure what was playing but there have been a lot of folks asking about that. I may need to scour the Radiohead website.

@nicobee: Exactly. I wonder if the traffic is a consideration for the artists.