Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bad Idea Show Review: Atoms For Peace at Aragon Ballroom

Thom Yorke put out a solo album in 2006.  It served as a decent, above-average space holder during a four year gap between Radiohead albums.  While The Eraser was an interesting experiment by a man and his laptop, it seemed odd to A) wait four years to tour in promotion of such an album, and B) recruit Joey Waronker and Flea to be in the "backing band"
(along with Nigel Godrich) for songs that contain little live percussion and bass.

And yet, by the end of last night, an unexpected thought had entered my mind.  This performance was as a good as a Radiohead show, or at least a flash-sideways version of a Radiohead show.  The songs on The Eraser sound like demo versions compared to the full band arrangements on display at the Aragon.  Yorke's minimalistic blips were transformed into angry guitar riffs.  He danced and screamed in contrast to the reserved nature of early Radiohead performances.  Waronker utilized a souped-up drum and electronic percussion kit. Flea was Flea, blue-haired and gyrating with Yorke, while remaining fully clothed!  Case in point: "Harrowdown Hill."   

It's got a nice beat and you can to it!  Atoms For Peace are essentially The Eraser on steroids.  The good kind of steroids.  In addition, Yorke and Flea faced off at one point in a heated wood block vs melodica battle.
This song needs more blow-organ!

After running through the album front-to-back, Yorke returned solo to play a new, as yet untitled song.  He makes reference at the beginning of this clip to his "other band" working on an arrangement, at which point all the nerdy Radiohead fans nerd out in their nerd-coated delight.

Then another Radiohead song!  During which the one person between myself and the front rail** decided to have his own personal "clap over your head" party.  Down in front, poindexter!  Some of snuck in flip cams in our pants, and you're fucking with our visual art!

** Ah yes, did I mention I was in the second row?  Whatever, no big deal.  It doesn't mean I think I'm better than anybody.  It just meant that I could serve as a source of disappointment for my show-going partner for my refusal to leave the spot to get beer after the opening act.  "Are you out of your mind?  I'm not leaving this spot!  I've gone all day without even drinking water so that I'd have no reason to move!"  

SET 1:
The Eraser
The Clock
Black Swan
Skip Divided
Atoms For Peace
And It Rained All Night
Harrowdown Hill
Cymbal Rush

SET 2:
Untitled New Song [Thom solo]
I Froze Up (Kid A outtake) [Thom solo]
Everything In Its Right Place [Thom solo]

Paperbag Writer (Hail to the Thief b-side)
Judge, Jury & Executioner
The Hollow Earth
Pulled Apart By Horses

More of my photos are here.  MUCH BETTER PHOTOS ARE HERE.

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