Atoms For Peace
The last time Atoms For Peace played Los Angeles, Thom Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco were in front of a small packed house at Club Fais Do-Do jamming for 300 lucky fans. This time around, their set under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl seemed a bit more appropriate for the L.A.-born supergroup.
Currently finishing up its three-week North American run on top of a European summer tour, Atoms For Peace didn't appear to be road weary.Though they played their standard 17-song, 100-minute set–no Red Hot Chili Peppers covers sneaking their way into the set, but there were a few Thom Yorke solo songs along with other assorted songs from others, like Unkle's “Rabbit In Your Headlight” and a few from Radiohead sprinkled in as well.
The bare bones production of June's show may have hid what was to come, but last night, Atoms For Peace lifted the curtain on what was a well-put together stage show. With an elaborate light show, trippy projections and a huge backdrop, the semi-complicated theatrics fit in with the band's trademark spacey jams and elaborate compositions.
They sounded crisp, with the band's rhythm section doing much of the legwork. More importantly, the guys were loose and having fun. Yorke was dancing and flailing his arms to the music, while Flea did his usual bobbing and weaving across the stage. There were other reasons band's good spirits on this night. Not only was it Flea and percussionist Mauro Refosoco's birthdays, but also Yorke let the crowd in on a little tidbit.
“This band is born in L.A.,” the singer said to the delight of the crowd. “We're hoping to do this city justice.”
But even though the jams and songs were tight, there was something missing from the set. While people in the lower part of the Bowl were able to dance and lose themselves in the band's intricate songs, it couldn't quite translate in this larger setting. After all, it's tough to name a band, nevertheless a side project, which could nearly sell out one of the largest venues in the city.
In due time, Thom Yorke will go back to Radiohead, Flea will return to creating funky bass lines for the Red Hot Chili Peppers while Nigel Godrich will building his legend as a producer extraordinaire. Despite going their separate ways, there's an unspeakable energy and acknowledgement amongst each other that when they join forces as Atoms For Peace, there's little pressure to do anything but make music and have a good time.
Critical Bias: No Atoms For Peace show will compare with to night at Club Fais Do-Do.
Overheard in the Crowd (or in this case the Streets): After the show on Highland, there was a gentleman selling his own Atoms For Peace t-shirts. Disgruntled, he offered the shirts at the bargain basement price of two for $5, and was heard saying, “I'll never do this fucking band again.”
Random Notebook Dump: After the set, the band pleaded via the Hollywood Bowl's screens for fans to stay. Instead of another encore, fans saw the band's latest video. Guys, if you're going to show a video, it's best to do it before the show instead of pissing off and teasing fans into thinking that you're coming back for one final song.
Set List Below:
Before Your Very Eyes…
Stuck Together Pieces
And It Rained All Night
Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses
Rabbit in Your Headlights
Atoms for Peace