Radiohead Played Israel Despite Massive Controversy
The band defied protests to play their longest set in 11 years
Published Jul 20, 2017Radiohead have endured plenty of public shots over the last few months from artists urging the band to boycott Israel and cancel their Tel Aviv concert, but the show nevertheless went on last night (July 19) — and on and on.
As the BBC reports, the Thom Yorke-fronted group played their longest show since 2006, treating the 47,000 strong sold-out crowd at Yarkon Park to 27 songs and two encores.
"We came all the way here," Yorke said during the show. "We're gonna play our fingers off."
He added towards the end of the show: "A lot was said about this, but in the end we played some music."
Back in April, Artists for Palestine petitioned Radiohead to rethink playing in Israel, comparing the current Israeli-Palestinian situation to that of Apartheid in South Africa.
Since then, Yorke has fired back at critics like Roger Waters and Ken Loach, calling their efforts to impose a cultural boycott an "extraordinary waste of energy," and insisting that "playing in a country isn't the same as endorsing it's government."
"Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression," Yorke added in a recent note on Twitter.
See some fan-shot footage of the group's final encore song "Karma Police" from last night's show in Tel Aviv below, and peruse the band's epic full setlist over here.