British rock icons Radiohead walk off-stage in protest at Coachella 2017 sound problems

Alex Taylor
Radiohead's Thom Yorke

The opening night of Coachella 2017 fell into disarray and anti-climax after headline act Radiohead left the stage multiple times in protest at severe sound problems.

Three songs into their show, the four-piece became beset with technical difficulties – including complete sound dropout and bursts of feedback – in a glitch that affected both the main stage speakers and live stream audio.

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Vocalist Thom Yorke, 48, initially made light of the problems, blaming "fucking aliens again", as the band's rendition of Ful Stop, taken from 2016's critically-acclaimed A Moon Shaped Pool, was cut short.

Sound temporarily returned before dropping out for near the entirety of 15 Step, now a decade old. The band continued to play on before the stage went dark. Radiohead returned after a brief break to perform The National Anthem but still battled problems, before a second stage malfunction cut the main stage speakers during Let Down.

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After leaving the stage a second time, the band made another attempt to continue, with Yorke, who had been pictured on social media with his head bowed against the piano in frustration, directly addressing the crowd: "Can you actually hear me now?" he asked. "I'd love to tell you a joke, lighten the mood, something like that. But this is Radiohead, so fuck it."

Perhaps ironically, the band then launched into before Street Spirit (Fade Out).

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The problems frustrated many fans, who took to social media to vent their frustration at the music and arts festival in Indio California, split over two weekends, for which tickets have been sold at $398 and above.

Twitter user Hilary posted: "f-ing GORGEOUS version of 'let down' and the sound just cut out again. crowd is booing and leaving. such a bummer!! #radiohead #Coachella".

The Coachella line-up over April 14-16 and April 21-23 includes headliners Radiohead, Lady Gaga, and Kendrick Lamar, while the long list of supporting acts boasts Travis Scott, Lorde, Bon Iver, Future, New Order, and Porter Robinson.

Radiohead's full Coachella setlist

  1. Daydreaming
  2. Desert Island Disk
  3. Ful Stop
  4. Airbag
  5. 15 Step

Brief Intermission

  1. The National Anthem
  2. Let Down

Brief Intermission 2

  1. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
  2. Bloom
  3. Identikit
  4. Everything in its Right Place
  5. There There
  6. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
  7. Burn The Witch
  8. Idioteque
  9. Nude
  10. Creep

Encore

  1. You and Whose Army?
  2. No Surprises
  3. Paranoid Android
  4. Bodysnatchers

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