Atoms For Peace
Supergroup Atoms For Peace features Thom Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. They last played L.A. in June, a secret show (and their first in three years) in front of 300 fans and friends at a spot called Club Fais Do-Do.
Arriving at the Bowl last night, the band is currently finishing up its three-week North American run on top of a European summer tour. But Atoms For Peace didn't appear to be road weary. They played their standard 17-song, 100-minute set — no Red Hot Chili Peppers covers, but there were a few Thom Yorke solo songs along with stuff like like Unkle's “Rabbit In Your Headlight” and a few Radiohead tracks as well.
The bare bones production of June's show offered only a small taste of what was to come last night, when they lifted the curtain on a well-put together stage set-up. With an elaborate light show, trippy projections and a huge backdrop, the theatrics complemented the band's trademark spacey jams and elaborate compositions.
They sounded crisp, with the band's rhythm section doing much of the legwork. Also, 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. Oh, and it just so happened to be Flea and percussionist Mauro Refosoco's birthdays.
“This band is born in L.A.,” added Yorke. “We're hoping to do this city justice.”
And sure, the jams and songs were tight, but 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 intricate songs, overall the show didn't entirely translate in this larger setting.
To be fair, expectations were so high that anything less than a scintillating show would be considered a disappointment. But it sometimes felt like that last night, especially if you were up in the cheap(er) seats.
Still, that's not to say we're looking forward to the time when Yorke goes back to Radiohead, Flea returns to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Godrich returns to production duties. Together, they have a special energy, and they clearly know how to have a good time.
Critical Bias: In our opinion, no Atoms For Peace show will compare with to night at Club Fais Do-Do.
Overheard before the show: A guy outside selling his own Atoms For Peace t-shirts couldn't move any, even after lowering the price to two for $5. Said he: “I'll never do this fucking band again.”
Random Notebook Dump: After the set, the band showed their latest video, but c'mon. If you're going to do this, best to do so before the show, lest folks think you're coming back for an encore.
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