We take the moment to delve into the Far Out Vault to find some fan footage of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke doing his best to help a stricken fan during a live performance in 2003.

Thom Yorke, who has made no secret of his concerns for fans attending Radiohead shows, spotted a medical emergency during a performance in Toronto.

With the temperatures in some venues becoming unbearably hot, thousands of fans clambering to be close to the front of the stage and Radiohead having a tendency to play exceedingly long sets with two or three encores. Yorke, ever alert to the audience, spotted an issue with a young man and cut the music.

In the middle of a rendition of track ‘Myxomatosis’ taken from Radiohead’s sixth studio album Hail to the Thief, Yorke halted the performance after spotting a young man who had fainted close to the front of the stage. What ensued was the lead singer ordering security to get the fan out of the crowd and to call an ambulance. The fan can be seen limply removed over the shoulder of security.

The fan, who recovered quickly during the set, took part in a Reddit AMA to explain the incident: “I was dehydrated from standing in line to get into the pit at the concert. The pit was first come-first serve. I waited in line for about 6 hours.

“When we finally got in my buddy and I sparked joint. The concert started and we were hyped. What I didn’t realize was that the concert was a serious light show. I guess a combination of strobe lights, dehydration and being stoned let to my first pass out. The worst thing was when I awoke on a table at the side of the pit, Radiohead was playing ‘Paranoid Android’

“This guy in a British accent asked me if I was alright. I replied, “I’m good”. I then see him run to the stage and tell Thom something. Thom soon followed with an announcement that the guy who passed out was fine and was back in the audience.”

Here’s the footage:

In a separate and quite random meeting on Reddit which took place years after the incident, the young man who passed out during the show encountered another Radiohead fan who witnessed the incident back in 2003. When a thread was started with the above footage, one use explained how the situation went down: “I’ve told the story of this concert at least fifty times over the years. Maybe you all can give me the pleasure of telling it again (to potentially hundreds of people),” he said. 

“I was around sixteen when I saw Radiohead in Toronto in 2003. I went with my two best friends.

“While waiting to get into the Skydome–the concert venue–we got acquainted with two strangers in line. One of them offered to share some pot with us, but we respectfully declined.

“Later on, we found ourselves in the same part of the pit as the strangers from the line, right up close to the stage. One of them was the guy who passes out in the video. I can be seen directly next to him in the bottom right-hand corner. The concert stopped and he was lifted to the stage. I still remember it extremely vividly. My friends and I spent the rest of the concert awed by the understanding that it could have easily been us, had we smoked with him.

“But, as it turns out, this offers no cautionary message against drugs!

“By dint of unlikely coincidence, we ran into the guy who’d passed out after the concert. As we were making our way out of the skydome, we found him leaving the first aid area with his companion. We asked them about the whole incident. The companion, who had smoked the same weed, was perfectly fine. The paramedics seemed to think it was related to blood sugar!

“No overdoses, but a wild ride nonetheless for three sixteen-year-olds!”


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