Almost four years on, Australian audiences have taken a comparable quantum leap. Radiohead’s first show, a sell-out at Melbourne’s Festival Hall, was received with a rapture summarised thus by The Age newspaper’s Gary Munro: “This is rock for the new millennium and Radiohead are in a league of their own.” This, despite a brutal heatwave which had Thom Yorke exclaiming: “We’re going to have to pretend we’re in a sauna... with a Walkman on.”
“We were getting too used to walking offstage to all these casualties,” Jonny Greenwood explains. “There was one incident especially last year in Chicago. This 12-year-old girl who had been wearing glasses got a boot in the face and had broken glass in her eye.”
“It was great in Melbourne,” Ed interjects. “Right at the front there was this 11-year-old kid with his older brother and… the look on his face! Normally at a gig he wouldn’t have been able to stand at the front. That’s really cool. He was this little fella, looking up at the stage and you could see in his eyes this... elation! That says so much more than any mosher.