Performance Value: the Art of Radiohead Live

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Performance art, traditionally executed in front of a live audience, combines a vast array of human activity (dancing, singing, musical instruments etc). Such performance is constructed to illustrate some meaning, forming an original vision of work. One may find it difficult to interpret an artist’s intention and find meaning if only read about or listened to, not witnessed. The ease with which art- in particular music- may be accessed today through the use of technology such as computers and iPods creates a culture of ignorance with regards to the intent of performance and creation. The intention behind performance, specifically the performance of live music in concert, is to consciously engage the listener in the process of artistic conception and creation. In doing so, a stronger appreciation and truer interpretation of the art’s meaning is discovered. Renowned for their talents, Radiohead is one of the most influential music groups of the past two decades. Since their rise to prominence in 1992, the group’s commitment to experimentally ambitious work has made them so ambiguous to the public that their work continues to remain highly susceptible to misconception. Such misconception arises when only listening to Radiohead on a device rather than observing them live in concert. Moreover, decoding Radiohead’s performance of their hit song ‘2+2=5’ live at the 2012 Bannaroo Music Festival may very well be the leading example of what it means to be labeled as an artist rather than musician in the music industry. In a performance such as Radiohead’s ‘2+2=5’ live at Bonnaroo 2012, the audience is truly allowed an opportunity to witness and decode the meaning behind Radiohead’s music. The performance of Radiohead’s music is an intrinsic and inseparable aspect of their artistic intention, and ‘2+2=5’ embodies the unification of performance and art. Radiohead’s lyrics serve

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