It’s a good thing Radiohead added an East Coast leg to their North American tour yesterday. At the rate the British art-rock luminaries keep debuting new songs, they’re going to need every one of those extra 11 shows.
Kicking off the tour late last month in Miami, Radiohead already showcased two previously unreleased tunes, the harmony-haunted anti-“messing me around” brooder “Identikit” and the strummy rocker “Cut a Hole.” As Rock It Out! Blog observes, the full band performed another new song for the first time last night in Dallas, “Skirting on the Surface.”
Thom Yorke previously performed “Skirting on the Surface” as a piano ballad while on a 2009 tour with his star-studded Atoms for Peace side project. Last night, though, he took to an acoustic guitar, as the band fleshed out the midtempo song into one of Radiohead’s signature moody, enigmatic compositions. Synths add extra gloom, while Yorke’s lofty, forlorn “oh-oh-oh” makes for an even more ear-catching hook than the title phrase. Too early to tell how deep this one goes, but it’s archetypal Radiohead, and another promising indication of a tour that goes beyond nostalgia.
One previously released Radiohead song also made its live debut last night, Rock It Out! reports. That’s “The Amazing Sounds of Orgy,” an Amnesiac-era B-side that centers, in its studio version, around shuffling, reverberant percussion and Yorke’s multi-tracked foreboding. “Hold onto your seats,” Yorke introduces the song in the clip above. Later, he shows remarkable restraint when singing the song’s most prescient lyric, about “the day the banks collapse on us.” By the end, with Jonny Greenwood manning various electronics and Yorke repeating, “So glad you’re mine,” the rendition sounds like it’s going to collapse on itself. And then it’s over.