Atoms for Peace at Fox Theater: Live Review

04/19/2010


You couldn’t help but shake a tail feather at Oakland’s Fox Theater. New super-group Atoms for Peace provided modern tribal unification for two smashing nights (April 14th & 15th). The group is comprised of: Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar and piano) of Radiohead; Flea (bass) of Red Hot Chili Peppers; longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (guitar and keyboards); Joey Waronker (drums) who has played with notable groups R.E.M., Beck, and Smashing Pumpkins; and, Mauro Refosco (drums and percussion) of David Byrne.



The night’s rhythms and vibes could be felt in our spines. “Move!” it said, as Flea hebee-geebee’d with non-stop grooving. Even Tom Yorke showed off his signature dance moves which seem to be a language onto itself, divulging his sexy deep soul. Thom and Flea are a perfect pair of ying and yangers.


After the first night’s encore the lights went on, but the crowd refused to go. Stomping, cheering and clapping, the crowd hung tough for ten minutes before the group made a surprise return to the stage. The real surprise: they hadn’t any material to play. They broke into an impromptu never-seen-before jam. Night two, a bit more prepared and maybe now expecting the crowd, again a deserved encore was had. This time the band returned to perform an epic “Love With Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division. Deserved encores are the best.

You don’t have to own any of the band’s albums, but if Thom Yorke is coming to your town–go. You hear me? Do not miss the opportunity to get a sense why music has been bringing us humans together in the first place. The only part of the show that sucked was that it didn’t go until dawn.

Big Vic Smith