Radiohead played a dazzling headlining set Friday (Aug. 8) to crown the first day of the inaugural All Points West festival, set just across the Hudson River from Manhattan at New Jersey's Liberty Sta
Radiohead played a dazzling headlining set Friday (Aug. 8) to crown the first day of the inaugural All Points West festival, set just across the Hudson River from Manhattan at New Jersey's Liberty State Park.
Fresh of a similarly high profile gig exactly a week ago at Lollapalooza in Chicago, the U.K. band was at its best on material from its 2007 album "In Rainbows," particularly the gauzy ballad "Nude," the tightly wound rocker "Weird Fishes" and the sublime, soulful "House of Cards."
There were only occasional visits to the Radiohead back catalog, but they were among the best moments of the night, including "How To Disappear Completely," "Morning Bell" and "Optimistic" from "Kid A," "Lucky" and "Paranoid Android" from "OK Computer" and the lone selections from "The Bends," "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" and "Just."
Radiohead's first New York-area show in more than two years was by far the biggest drawing card of the day, although dance acts Underworld and Girl Talk packed the throngs in during their early evening sets just prior to the headliner.
Underworld's high-energy performance was back-loaded with classics such as "Jumbo" and "Born Slippy Nuxx," as sequined blazer-clad vocalist Karl Hyde danced spastically. "Two Months Off" was also a hit with the crowd, its key, repeated line of "You bring light in" perfectly appropriate for All Points West's first day.
Girl Talk's set was even more of a party, as Gregg Gillis churned out pop, hip-hop and rock mash-ups on a stage crowded with flamboyantly clad dancers. Collisions like Jay-Z's "Roc Boys" with "Paranoid Android" and Tag Team's "Whoomp (There It Is!)" with Daft Punk's "Digital Love" drove the audience into jubilation, and Gillis seemed so into the moment that he jumped on an inflatable raft and was passed into the crowd as the set concluded.
All Points West day one also boasted noteworthy performances from the New Pornographers, CSS (with a highly theatrical stage show featuring dances in leotards), Andrew Bird, Duffy, Grizzly Bear, Michael Franti & Spearhead, the Duke Spirit and Mates Of State.
The festival was produced by Goldenvoice, producers of California's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, with AEG Live. The event is already slated to return next year to the same location.
Radiohead headlines again tonight, while Jack Johnson leads a more jam-friendly bill on Sunday.