Thom Yorke Dances Up a Storm at Official Debut of New Solo Band

October 5th, 2009 by Matt Diehl Leave a reply »

Photo: Shearer/Getty
Thom Yorke likes to boogie, and he wants you to, too. “I hope you dance, because this is a dance record,” he said by way of introducing “Skip Divided,” one third through the first of a two-concert solo stand last night at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre. “You can just sit there like you’re at the cinema, but I hope you get down.”

The Radiohead frontman himself had been following his own advice since the first song. Entering the stage to a standing ovation, Yorke began at a standup piano facing away from the audience, pushing out the chunky chords that announce “The Eraser,” the title track from his 2006 solo album. However, as his elite backing band kicked in — Red Hot Chili Peppers’ icon Flea on bass, Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) on drums, Mauro Refosco (David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto) on percussion, longtime Radiohead/Yorke producer Nigel Godrich on guitar/synths/laptop — Yorke began to shake his tailfeather with aplomb. Strapping on a guitar, Yorke and Flea began their own punk-funk hootenanny, grooving in unison as they vamped on an angular disco riff; behind them, their bandmates built up waves of propulsive percussion that evoked more an LCD Soundsystem show than, say, “Karma Police.”

Yorke’s L.A. appearances, his first official solo shows backed by a band, quickly sent tremors through the blogosphere after their abrupt announcement. The wave of anticipation was impressive in a town built on hype: according to, a surprise warmup “rehearsal” two days earlier at the smaller Echoplex club drew the likes of Daft Punk, Zack De La Rocha, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Spike Jonze, Madonna, Prince, Rick Rubin, Slash, Sting, and, er, Barbra Streisand (at the Sunday show, however, this reporter spotted only Ed Norton and Sandra Oh,...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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