Review: Atoms for Peace @ Fox Theater, Oakland 4/15/10
Last night was the second night of Atoms for Peace at the Fox Theater in Oakland and I’m still reeling from the amazing show that we witnessed. The supergroup that is Thom Yorke, Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco absolutely shook the floors at the venue with a jungle dance party that kept the crowd in awe and silence for much of the show, that is, when we weren’t cheering our pants off.
Me and my crew got a spot up front and took in the opening set by Flying Lotus, an awesome opener for the show and something that got us nice and groovy while we jockeyed for position Flea-side for the headlining set. The DJ thanked the California crowd and proceeded to make himself so entertained that we couldn’t help but follow along with his beats and rhythms. He knew his audience well and managed to mix in some Radiohead once or twice, including “Idioteque” (Pete called that before the set started, by the way).
The floor area up front started to get crowded and tight as people wanted an upfront glimpse of the superheros we were anticipating, and from the first note the crowd was instantly excited and hanging on every note the band put out. And because it was so drum-heavy, it was so easy to just completely lock-in with the trance rhythms that kept coming in succession. One after another through the entire set of Thom Yorke’s solo release, The Eraser, it was nothing but groove. Flea could hardly contain himself, oftentimes looking like he was going to miss his queue thanks to his patented Flea Dance. If you haven’t seen it or know what I’m talking about, it’s that sort-of bass-and-hands-to-his-side weird convulsing walk he does when he’s fooling a really solid groove. Watch this clip I took of them doing “The Clock” and you’ll see what I mean…
I also got a full video of “Black Swan,” which immediately followed “The Clock.”
The rest of the show had me completely tranced-out and loving every second. After The Eraser set finished, the band got offstage and only Thom returned to do a few songs solo before the rest of the band returned. We got us an “Airbag” plus some others I didn’t immediately recognize given the crown noise and spare arrangements, and it was equally as impressive as seeing the full band on stage backing him up. We got plenty more of that by the time the night was over, which seemed to be a bit too early for the crowd when the band left the stage at 10:50pm. The houselights came on after the band sauntered offstage but the crowd just stayed and cheered in strong ovation. It was impressive. Finally the band returned with the apt-for-Coachella Joy Division cover, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
All in all, it was a jaw-dropping event and I really wish I had gone to both nights. The Coachella audience is in for a treat. This will easily be in my Top 5 Shows of 2010 list.
The Clock Play
Atoms For Peace
And It Rained All Night
Open The Floodgates
Skirting on the Surface (false start)
The Daily Mail
Judge, Jury and Executioner
The Hollow Earth
Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)
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About the author
Justin Ward is the Editor at Live Music Blog and has been with the site from the very beginning. He currently lives in San Francisco and regularly tweets other stuff over @justinpward.
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