If all goes according to plan this afternoon, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen will be hanging out with Radiohead and attending the last performance of the band's U.S. tour in Santa Barbara, Calif., while I sit in the D.C. office and stare out the window at the falling rain. (Cue strings.)
I tried catching Radiohead at a show earlier this year in Virginia, but was foiled by a torrential downpour and an impossible traffic jam to get into the venue.
If Radiohead's Aug. 25 performance at the Hollywood Bowl is any indication, Bob's in for a perfect storm of musical rapture. At that show, the band covered what I know to be one of Bob's favorite songs by one of his all-time favorite artists, Neil Young. The song: "Tell Me Why" from After the Gold Rush.
Thom Yorke may be doing his best to channel Young, but I'd never noticed how similar their voices are. It's really spot-on. Radiohead doesn't need to do more than it already has to win my respect and admiration, but there's always something comforting about newer bands paying respect to the past like this. It's also a sort of validation, not to mention a nice surprise gift to fans of both artists.
Some of my favorite cover moments include Arcade Fire doing Bruce Springsteen's "State Trooper" with Springsteen, The Shins covering Pink Floyd's "Breathe," and Ryan Adams covering The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" with Beth Orton. I saw him do it at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., once. It was so unexpected and haunting.
So, Bob, I hope your night is full of surprises like this. In the meantime, I'll be back here asking readers, "What are some of your favorite cover moments?"