All expectations lived up to and exceeded.
On the back of a triumphant weekend at the V Festival, Radiohead took on Edinburgh with virtually the entire crowd having one thought on their mind. Given its inclusion over the weekend, would 'Creep' find its way into the Scottish show or would there be disappointment for those who crammed into the rather dilapidated Meadowbank Stadium.
With the sound taking a few songs to settle into its surroundings, Radiohead found their feet during 'My Iron Lung'; an understated classic from 'The Bends.' A trait that was to continue throughout the evening, the song was slightly pared back and restrained but no less menacing for it. With stadium acts tending to pile on the power and bombastic sounds to appease their fans, it's typical of Radiohead to go about their show in a different manner and still manage to triumph.
With 'Morning Bell' being halted halfway through due to some moshing causing difficulties down the front of the crowd, it was further reinforced that Radiohead are a band like no other, having to play these sized arenas to satisfy demand but with no desire to pander to the stereotypes of the stadium crowd.
And the variety of the crowd was a notable aspect, for a band considered to be outsiders or of no concern to the mainstream, there would be few bands with a broader fan base across the ages and genres. It led to some uncomfortable moments with pockets of the crowd roaring and bouncing throughout the more commercial moments and other groups chatting freely during some of the more off-kilter tracks.
One such off-kilter track was 'Videotapes', a new song showcased with little introduction. After a slow start and some glitchy and electro sounding drums, the track really picked up towards the end and its inclusion in no way harmed or derailed the set.
From here on until the encore, the band settled on the more familiar and 'Paranoid Android' invoked the first major singalong of the evening, with its crunching swoops and alternating rhythms spiralling through the venue. As mentioned earlier, even the acoustic-led and at times sparse feel of the track worked well, particularly when it gave way to the heavier guitar kicks.
It was clear that whatever way Radiohead took the set it was going to be great and the combined one two of 'Fake Plastic Trees' into 'I Might Be Wrong' may have been at the opposite ends of the spectrum but both wowed everyone. The former was simply beautiful, just as the light was starting to fade; its melody and chiming lyrics filled the air and just in case that was taking people down too much, the latter and its sleazy chugging rhythm blasted away any feelings of depression.
The notion that Radiohead are a depressing band is quite ludicrous, certainly not helped by a humorous Father Ted scene but more likely, suggested by lazy and uninformed people. They may not be pushing commercial radio anymore but the inventiveness and vigour that Radiohead offer nowadays should see them hailed as upbeat and rewarding. Surely tired guitar bands dishing out the same 4/4 on every release are more depressing than this band. Even in a song like 'Where I End And You Begin', a repeated line like "I will eat you alive" even sounds anthemic and a warm threat as opposed to a nasty or dark warning.
The encore featured another new song whose name wasn't loudly announced but no matter, as it was a stormer. With an excellent drive and swagger to the guitars and a rhythm that bounced around like Tigger on ecstasy, it can only be hoped that this track features on an upcoming Radiohead release.
With 'Just' being welcomed like a lost prodigal son, some were starting to doubt whether this would be the final track. Given its quality and singalong quality it would be no bad thing but yes, after all the talk and conjecture, the final song of the evening was indeed 'Creep.'
Hopefully this would indicate that Radiohead have found peace with their back catalogue and the song seemed to touch every fan in the stadium, given the way it was lustfully sung back and air guitars were riffed by all.
For over 2 hours, Radiohead never gave a dull moment and for all they may smirk at not getting Radio 1 airplay and for all the general public may moan at a lack of perceived tunes or melodies, the thought that Radiohead are the best UK band at the moment is hard to shake off. Other bands are more lovable, other bands sell to more bland people but for being a genuine great act, pushing the boundaries of what is expected and now fulfilling their fans needs, it's getting harder to see beyond Radiohead.