This set demonstrated that there is and never will be anything like Radiohead in their prime. 

Two weeks after the release of their third album OK Computer, which would later be recognized as the foundation of their distinct experimental style, Radiohead played a headlining set at Glastonbury festival. This set marked a pivotal moment in their legacy as a band, and is remembered as one of the greatest Radiohead performances, ever.

Glastonbury ’97 was phenomenal because of several reasons; the lineup was colorful with great names of the year, ranging from Smashing Pumpkins and Prodigy to Beck and of course, Radiohead. This is when Radiohead were at their peak, whether they liked it or not. The band had released two of the greatest albums of the decade and would be dubbed the UK’s biggest band by the end of that night in muddy Somerset.

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Sometimes referred to as the “Year of the Mud” because of the torrential rain that dampened the event, Glastonbury in ’97 saw over 90,000 attendees. Almost all of these drenched and muddy festival goers swarmed to the Pyramid stage on the second night of the festival, where Radiohead would deliver their immaculate set. The band launched their set with the oddly melancholic number “Lucky”, imprisoning the audience in the artfully surreal mood they were creating.

This article perfectly describes Thom Yorke’s immersion in his own art as the set progressed,

“By the time the number had finished and he had cast a great pistolero sneer at the audience, he seemed less of an introspective rock star and more of a man who was fully encompassed by his art and more importantly meant proper business.” – Sabotage Times

Later, transitioning from the dark progression of “Karma Police” to the even darker self-deprecatory lyrics of “Creep”, Thom Yorke’s moody crooning reduced the massive crowd at the Pyramid stage to transfixed, muddy marionettes. The set ended with the disquieting acoustic chords of “Fake Plastic Trees”, as the band and the audience both descended from the heady trance-like atmosphere that was created by the music.

It’s almost mandatory to mention Radiohead’s Glasto ’97 set when in conversation about epochal festival performances, and now you know why. Even eighteen years after the famous set, Radiohead still has the capacity to transfix audiences and work a crowd as gigantic as the one at Glastonbury.

Read more: 10 Festival Audiences Who Sang It Better Than Artists On Stage