By Hayden Wright
Radiohead’s decision to play a Tel Aviv concert drew criticism from many corners of the rock world: Last night, the show went off without a hitch and became the band’s longest-lasting concert since 2006. A defiant Thom Yorke told the crowd, “A lot was said about this, but in the end we played some music.”
Radiohead’s critics (including filmmaker Ken Loach and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters) support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a movement that opposes cooperation with Israel until the Palestinian people get a fair territorial and humanitarian deal. Other artists like R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe came to Radiohead’s defense this week:
“I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform. Let’s hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution,” he wrote in an Instagram post.
The contentious back-and-forth ultimately didn’t change Radiohead’s itinerary. They played songs from their latest album A Moon Shaped Pool and fan favorites from the rest of their catalog, including “Creep,” “Paranoid Android,” “Everything in its Right Place” and “Karma Police.” Within minutes of the show’s close, euphoric reviews from fans and journalists spread across social media.
“Everyone here in this crowd didn’t vote for [Israeli Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu. They’re playing for the people, not the government,” concertgoer Sarai Givaty told Israel National News.
One fan wrote on Reddit: “What an incredible, insane show. What an emotional ride those past couple of weeks have been. We got the perfect setlist.”