Yes, press tickets are always good, and when they're for a popular band, you're likely to be seated with your peers. The advantage here is that your perspective of the show is apples to apples. Nobody can say, "Well, from where I was sitting ..."
At Monday night's Radiohead show at KeyArena, I was seated between The Seattle Times' Andrew Matson and The Stranger's Grant Brissey. But, as it happens, I think I'm the only one still on a high from the show. I did not go in expecting to be blown away by their ingenuity, but I was. Maybe it's because I hadn't seen the band since '97. I didn't fully realize until Monday night that their wizardry in the studio extended to the stage as well.
Our opinions weren't polar opposites, but I think the differences were pretty interesting (naturally, nothing makes me happier than comparing my work to someone else's). So, here you go, three different takes on one show, from three guys sitting in the same row. (BTW, it should be said that I couldn't get either of these prudes to come home with me after the show ...)Mr. Matson, Seattle Times:
It was one of those concerts that was unremarkably good. The best song at the Radiohead show Monday night at KeyArena was "Everything in Its Right Place," a soft synthesizer ballad which the British rock band transformed into a thumping dance jam. It took a show that already felt underwater a few leagues deeper.
Mr. Brissey, The Stranger
"Airbag" was the highlight, and it came early on. Thing is, if you write some of the greatest compositions of the twentieth century, and then later get all experimental and stop writing "hits," people are going to want to hear the hits, and I won't lie, I was one of them.
The band played with an effortlessness and grace that conveyed a sense of appreciation and relief. They were both 100 percent engaged in the performance, while at the same time in complete control, playing the songs as if it were for the first and last time. All that said, Radiohead were skilled professionals on stage. Everything sounded spot on. Throughout, Thom Yorke was shaking his shit like Clive Deamer told Trent he does. Also, I can confirm, unfortunately, that he was sporting a ponytail. And a vest.
Yes, I admit to including the last bit simply because I wore a ponytail and vest to work today.