It’s safe to assume one can objectively say Radiohead’s headlining appearance at the Coachella Valley Music Festival didn’t go exactly as planned Friday night. The band was plagued by multiple sound issues, which led to a few stage exits and some dry humor from frontman Thom Yorke.
“Can you actually hear me?” Yorke reportedly asked the crowd. “I’d like to tell a joke to lighten the mood. But we’re Radiohead so fuck it.”
According to various reports from attendees, the audio issues began about three songs into Radiohead’s set and only got worse from there.
“[The issues] grew much worse during In Rainbows opener '15 Step,' cutting out the final two minutes of the track,” wrote a Variety report. “The band then left the stage, only to return and have the same problem recur during the song 'Let Down,' again forcing them to leave the stage.”
Radiohead's console just went out. How tragic. #Coachella— Gerrick D. Kennedy (@GerrickKennedy) April 15, 2017
And Radiohead's sound is out for I think the seventh time now? I'm losing count. This sucks so bad for them. Feel terrible #coachella— Gerrick D. Kennedy (@GerrickKennedy) April 15, 2017
Apparently a blown console was to blame for the multiple audio issues. By most accounts, the technical difficulties didn't lead to the type of negative publicity other artists face in similar situations. Various critics, media members and Radiohead fans shared their real-time reactions via Twitter.
Band now leaving stage after 20 minutes while problem is fixed. Wow sound trouble ruining Radiohead set at #coachella2017 Crowd confused— Shad Powers (@shad_powers) April 15, 2017
Challenged yet defiant @radiohead. Brilliant. Just brilliant.— Zane Lowe (@zanelowe) April 15, 2017
The thing about post-KID A Radiohead is so many of their songs are perilously close to sounding like technical difficulties anyway— Danny Bowes (@bybowes) April 15, 2017
The second stage exit prompted Yorke’s joke about lightening the mood. Things were eventually ironed out, as Radiohead completed the rest of a two-hour set without any additional issues.