In 1993, the world’s lips were beginning to whisper the name of a new rock band, a rock band like any other before it. Radiohead, propelled by their anthem ‘Creep’, were beginning to shoot into superstardom.
With Pablo Honey starting to find it’s permanent home on the shelves of college dorm rooms across the globe, a small club in Chicago would be the latest venue on Radiohead’s first US tour and it would prove to be a night many in the crowd would never forget.
Much of the audience would’ve likely arrived at the venue that evening without much knowledge of Radiohead beyond their semi-permanence on MTV with ‘Creep’. The extra attention encouraged Chicago’s own music program JBTV to film the gig at Cabaret Metro in 1993.
Radiohead duly obliged and deliver the anthemic song with gusto. Within a few tracks, Radiohead would also debut what would become a very special song for diehard fans of the band. “This is a song about knowing who your friends are,” said Thom Yorke to the hopeful crowd, with bleached hair and a strong gaze. “This is called ‘The Bends.’”
The audience would then be treated to a performance of the title track from the band’s seminal record, 1995’s The Bends, almost two years before its release. As with any iconic Radiohead song, the band have since not been too keen to bring out the song for a live showing, these days—but that makes them all the more special when they do.
In truth, that factor only adds extra gravitas to this incredible debut of the song. The fact that the performance is raw and revealing performance, a performance that captivates the idle audience and turns them into fans.
Many of whom likely still love Radiohead nearly three decades later. For those fans, this full-length clip is goldust—including the full performance as well as a small intro interview. Perfect viewing.
Watch below as Radiohead deliver a raw performance of their seminal track, ‘The Bends’ in 1993 at a tiny Chicago club.