February 16, 2009

I’m in the middle of your picture :: Radiohead at Outside Lands


This weekend I was finishing my taxes and getting it back from The Man, whilst listening to Radiohead to make the undertaking a bit less tedious.

The recording of their live set from last August echoed through my kitchen, the show where I saw em for the first time at the Outside Lands Festival in foggy San Francisco. Photographing the band from that close (under a dazzling collection of cathedral-like lights) and the superb setlist makes me smile every time I think of it.


2008 was the first year of the Outside Lands Festival, and it was a bit of a clusterfuck at times. The sound went out twice during Radiohead’s set, in one of the most surreal moments I’ve had at a concert. Imagine the most sublime wall of sound you’ve felt in years, vibrating all around you — and then complete silence. I watched the band furiously playing on, while all around us the absence of music felt thick like cotton. I joke that for a second I thought it finally happened, I finally went permanently and irreversibly deaf from all the concerting.

After the first burst of silence, Thom jokes about someone putting beer in the plug; when it happens again two songs later, a wave of discontent ripples through the crowd but then we all rose up to sing at the top of our lungs (in an excellent concert moment that still kinda warms me):

You are all I need…you’re all I need. I’m in the middle of your picture, lying in the reeds…

I was packed there into the masses singing along in the fog, thin sweater wrapped tight around me under the cypress trees.


August 22, 2008 – Outside Lands Festival
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
15 Step
There There
All I Need*
Talk Show Host
National Anthem
The Gloaming
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Karma Police
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Exit Music (For a Film)
Pyramid Song
You And Whose Army?
Paranoid Android
Fake Plastic Trees
(this still kills me lately)
Everything In Its Right Place

*Sound cuts out during Airbag and All I Need


[thanks to the original taper! I took all them pics, and love 'em, especially that abstract one with the heart, taken as I looked at the crowd behind me during Radiohead's set. Yep.]


  • I have been reading this blog for quite some time and I’m just jealous. No other words can describe it. I’ve been lucky enough to see radiohead twice and nothing can reproduce them live. Thanks for the zip file. It’s going onto my iPhone post-haste.

    Sammy — February 17, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

  • Thanks for this lovely gift (and it is my birthday)
    Great blog sista!

    Kim — February 17, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  • omg, thanks SO MUCH for posting this!! radiohead was the whole reason i went to outside lands, and i’ve been wishing for this recording since 30 seconds after the show ended. to make do, i made a playlist of the album versions of the songs but it just wasn’t the same.

    can’t wait to share this with my concert buddies!

    p.s. clusterfuck is the perfect word to describe the whole thing. i hope they do a little better next year!

    Jillian — February 17, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  • I was there as well and it was my first time seeing Radiohead. This is by far my favorite band and I was hyping it up big time. I was a little disappointed from the sound and from people around me who just kept arguing during the show. I moved around and it just seemed to follow me. I told myself that there is another time to see them where ‘everything’ will fall in ‘its right place’ ;)

    If you are able, there is a great recording that they did in Santa Barbara Bowl. They did a video webcast on their site and someone pulled the audio. It’s really good quality recording!

    Ricardo Valencia — February 17, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  • Thanks for posting this. I saw Radiohead two nights prior to this show in Auburn, Washington. It was a phenomenal show, even once the rain began.

    Eric — February 17, 2009 @ 10:49 pm

  • Ok. Now you’ve done it. You’ve lodged In Rainbows in my brain and I can’t stop listening to it. Again. I think my toddler has all the lyrics memorized by now!

    Sammy — February 19, 2009 @ 7:58 am

  • i have a completley tangential question:

    What kind of camera/lenses are you using to take such wonderful concert pix? Mine always turn out poopy and never like THE poop.

    CD — February 19, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  • wow! thanks CD! that is a super nice thing for you to say. i took these shots right when i first got my brand new canon rebel xti, my first “real” camera. i don’t remember which lens i was using on this shot – probably my fixed 50mm f/1.8 (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-1-8-Camera-Lens/dp/B00007E7JU). it is good for lower light, but i am learning to hold very still. i was taking pics for stereogum at this festival, so i was pretty excited. it is fun to have a good camera that lets me get closer to capturing the gorgeousness of a rock show.

    browneheather — February 19, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

  • Just wondering, why did record in video this fantastic Radiohead concert and there is not any evidence of a dvd or possibility to watch the concert in video.

    Why f$%”#k they recorded with special cameras and there is not any option to get access to this fantastic concert! just the audio.. is weird!

    emont — March 28, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →