We first found out about Radiohead playing in Taipei in July back in January when we were on some island in Thailand. At this time, July seemed so far away and we couldn't see how we would be able to reach Taiwan in time to see Radiohead.
We had the rest of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, possibly Vietnam and some of China to go before we would get to Taiwan. So, I didn't buy any tickets. Bad move. One thing I have learnt now is that if there is a concert or event that you really want to attend, even if it is in another country, just buy the tickets. If you can't get there, you can always give or sell your tickets to someone who can!
Buying Radiohead Tickets for Taipei, Taiwan
The promoter of Radiohead in Taiwan, g-music, even had a system for overseas ticket buyers where you could complete a word document and provide a credit card number and email the venue to purchase your tickets. You could then pick them up on the day by showing your passport. Handy. Of course, we didn't do this.
When we realised that yes, we could make it to Taipei in time for the Radiohead concert, all tickets were sold out. Bah bow! We contacted g-music directly begging for two tickets and unfortunately they could not come through with them. Fair enough.
We then asked the people who we would be house sitting for in Taipei if they knew of anyone selling tickets. They did not. They did however know of a heap of Taiwan forums so I signed up and asked for two tickets. No go.
Luckily, I found a Radiohead in Taiwan Facebook Group where people could discuss all things Radiohead. People were also selling tickets. Hooray! Despite my lack of Mandarin and having no idea what the Chinese characters say I posted on Facebook saying that I was looking for two tickets and that I will be arriving in Taipei on the Sunday before the concert.
People responded to me! Two tickets for Radiohead were bought for less than the original retail price of $4000NT each. We paid $7600NT for two. Bargain! We met our ticket seller on the Sunday out the front of an MRT Station. The tickets were real. We were happy.
We were going to Radiohead!
We caught the train to the Nanang Exhibition Hall station on the Bannan MRT Line. Once we left the station and headed to the venue it was like we were heading to a concert at home. People were hanging out in groups, drinking their beers and whiskeys out of plastic cups, smoking cigarettes and enjoying catching up with their friends.
Heading through the bag checkers and security, we did notice something interesting. In Australia we are used to big brawny men with thick necks checking our bags and tickets. Here in Taipei the staff were the complete opposite. The ticket checkers were lovely ladies dressed like flight attendants. People seem to be a lot nicer and more well behaved in Taipei. There was virtually no visible security. People were even throwing their rubbish in the provided bins.
The Nanang Exhibition Hall is like a aircraft hanger inside. It is massive. Very open and very clean. It was divided in half. A Class Tickets ($4000NT) at the front. B Class Tickets ($2500NT) at the back. We had the A Class Tickets so we headed into our section. The A Class Section was itself divided into smaller sections. Looking at the stage, the floor space was divided into three. We headed over to the left side of the stage, furthest away from the main doors. It was different over here. While the side near the entry was jammed, on the far side, there was a lot less people and we could see the stage easily.
We waited for Radiohead to start while listening to some lovely ambient tunes and enjoying some quality people watching. Quite a few foreigners had turned up to see Radiohead.
Radiohead's album "OK Computer" was released to the public in 1997 when I was 22 years old. 15 years ago now. I remember listening to this album for the first time and being totally blown away. It was a musical journey that I then went on often over the next 15 years. At one point during this time, I listened to OK Computer every night before bed. It was soothing for me.
Every other album that Radiohead produced prior to OK Computer and after just didn't do it for me. I have always accepted that, although they have brought out other albums, this was the one for me. Out of respect, Radiohead have brought out eight albums. Check them all out if you haven't already.
This brings us to 2012. Fifteen years later and I hadn't seen Radiohead perform once. To say that I was excited was a little bit of an understatement. All I cared about was the possibility of hearing just one song from the OK Computer album played live.
Radiohead starts, the crowd go wild and I nearly wet my pants. How could seeing a band perform live do this to a 37 year old? Andrew, who hasn't ever really been a fan of Radiohead, simply stood and smiled and patted me on the back. "Yes, yes, Tanya..."
Among a lot of songs that neither of us had heard, Radiohead performed some of my favourite songs... Lucky, Karma Police, Pyramid Song, Talk Show Host, National Anthem, Planet Telex and Everything In It's Right Place... I believe it was at the end of seeing "Karma Police" performed live I went and high fived a foreign man as he looked like he was just as stoked as me to see Radiohead live as I was!
To see the full set list of Radiohead's live performance at the Nanang Exhibition Hall on July 25, 2012 click here.
It was kind of weird standing up for the whole Radiohead concert. To me personally, they aren't really the up and dancy type of band. They suit a dark, smokey red velvet parlour setting. However, that said, I really enjoyed seeing Radiohead live in Taipei. It allowed me to tick an important item off my bucket list - To see an international act in a foreign country.
Thank you Radiohead. Thank you Taiwan. Thank you!