BEING THERE: Atoms For Peace @ Temple


“Yeah, you know, it’s the band with Thom Yorke from Radiohead, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and some other guys.” This was a direct quote I overhead while waiting in line to enter the Liacouras Center, where Atoms For Peace kicked off its first U.S. tour last night in support of their debut LP, Amok.  Formed in 2009, Atoms for Peace is a supergroup created by Yorke and longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich. Last night the line-up was rounded out by Flea on bass and go-to-guy Joey Waronker (Beck, REM) on drums. Yorke seemed in good spirits, jokingly declaring early on “I’m Jay Z,” and then pointing to Flea and saying, “and that’s Beyonce.” As you might expect, the bulk of the setlist drew from Amok, most notably the opening track, “Before Your Very Eyes…” which Yorke howled flawlessly.  If you’ve seen a Radiohead show lately you know the drill: Crazy lights, a back-to-back-to-back set list, and a ponytailed Thom Yorke in full-on dancey-pants mode.  During “Paperbag Writer” – a Radiohead b-side – he challenged Flea to a dance-off. Who won? Justin Timberlake, of course, he always wins those things. Yorke and co. kept the bewitching grooves flowing and synchronous throughout the evening, and managed to tease the audience with not just one, but two encores.  It wasn’t until the second encore that Yorke introduced his band, before kicking into a their final song of the night, a dizzying run through “Black Swan,” from 2006’s Eraser. If this is what life would be like after Radiohead, I could get used to it.  — ALEXANDER BISIGNARO