The List: Constructing the ideal Radiohead set list

Andy Downing

You might have heard Radiohead is performing in Columbus this week. With that in mind, we thought we'd put together the set list we'd like to see when the band visits the Schottenstein Center on Monday, July 23.

There were some tough cuts, obviously. “Lucky” stands out as a miss, as does “I Might Be Wrong,” which is a nervy beast of a tune live, but we wanted to keep it to a realistic length. Oh, and apologies to theKing of Limbs fan out there. I opted to treat Radiohead's worst album the same way I do season two of “Friday Night Lights”: by completely ignoring its existence.

1. “The National Anthem”

I was fortunate enough to see Radiohead open with this song at Roseland Ballroom in 2000 — the only time the band has performed it in concert with the full brass band, I believe. A repeat of that moment would be epic.

2. “15 Step”

3. “Ful Stop”

4. “2+2=5”

In general, I thinkHail to the Thief is underrated, and its deeply Orwellian undertones (nothing new for the band, admittedly) feel particularly prescient these days. It's the devil's way now. There is no way out.

5. “Paranoid Android”

6. “Airbag”

7. “Idioteque”

For Thom Yorke's spastic dancing alone.

8. “House of Cards”

9. “Daydreaming”

The band has opened most dates on its current tour with this warped, twinkling number offA Moon Shaped Pool, and it makes for an unsettling breather here.

10. “Pyramid Song”

11. “Burn the Witch”

With live strings this would be epic.

12. “All I Need”

Each year,In Rainbows climbs a little higher on my favorite Radiohead album rankings. It wouldn't shock me to see it land at No. 1 someday.

13. “Talk Show Host”

14. “Optimistic”

15. “How to Disappear Completely”

16. “Videotape”

17. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”

This dreamyBends tune is among Radiohead's prettiest, and still remains the best showcase for Yorke's soaring voice.


18. “There There”

Arguably Radiohead's best song (fight me), and another that takes on new dimensions live, with Ed O'Brien and Jonny Greenwood posted up on either side of the stage, pounding out the percussive beat on floor toms.

19. “Spectre”

20. “No Surprises”

I'm usually not a fan of audience sing-alongs, but there'll be something both hugely cathartic and rewarding in hearing a packed arena belt out lines like “Bring down the government/They don't/They don't speak for us.”

Encore 2

21. “Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)”

Proof that evenOK Computer-era B-sides would be A-sides for most bands.

22. “Blow Out”

The band unearthed thisPablo Honey tune for a recent show in NYC. As with other early songs, it's continued to evolve and take on new dimensions through the years, sounding both slower and grander than the skeletal album version.

23. “Everything in Its Right Place”

This surrealKid A tune makes for an ideal curtain call, allowing each member to exit the stage individually as the pulsating tune continues to shapeshift. What a way to go out. That is until…

Encore 3

24. “True Love Waits”

…Yorke returns alone with his acoustic guitar for this stunner, as he did at Chicago's Grant Park in 2001. In that moment, his pristine voice seemed to be reaching toward the stars that twinkled overhead. I still get chills thinking back on it.