British rock-band Radiohead haven’t been short of controversy over the past few weeks, ahead of their gig in Tel Aviv last night.
The current climate in Israel is a turbulent one, with many activists, campaigners and musicians boycotting the country because of its seemingly apartheid-style policies directed towards Palestinians. In the run up to Radiohead’s sold out gig, many of these campaigners reached out to the band to join their boycott of the politically torn country. Instead, Radiohead left politics behind for the night, and rocked the house down.
The band have received backlash by many Twitter users over their plans, including British filmmaker, Ken Loach.
Radiohead need to decide if they stand with the oppressed or the oppressor. The choice is simple.
However, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has defended the band’s decision.
Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government. We don’t endorse (Israeli prime minister Benjamin) Netanyahu any more than Trump. Those who call for boycott are only trying to divide us. They are trying to shut down the music. I will not be a part of that.
Despite the divide, Radiohead continued with their plans to play in Tel Aviv, and rocked out to a 27-song set, including some of their biggest hits like Karma Police, Creep and No Surprises. They even came on to perform again for two encores.
After the show, Thom Yorke took to Twitter to post a photo of the show, and the words,
A lot was said about this, but in the end we played some music.
However, the tweet has since been deleted. Last night’s concert marked the end of the bands 3-month worldwide tour. And they definitely went out with a bang. Despite what the critics might say…