Thom Yorke's newest endeavor Atoms for Peace--an all-star collective featuring Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on bass, Joey Waronker (Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M.) on drums, Mauro Refosco (Forro in the Dark) on percussion, and long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich on guitar and electronics--played a sold out show at Boston's Citi Wang Theatre on April 8th with a near perfect interpretation of Yorke's 2006 solo debut The Eraser.
The band ran through an hour-long ethereal set of heart pounding rock and electronica. Taming the often-visceral subtleties of Yorke's artful electronic album came with an ease that only truly seasoned musicians could conquer. Whatever might have been lost in translation was more than made up for by Flea's willingness to add his own signature playing and stage presence.
After a short interlude Yorke returned to play three songs alone. "Present Tense"--a relatively new song--was delivered using only an electric guitar and his hauntingly melodic voice. Standing in the crowd--soaking up the scene around me in the opulent art-deco theatre--I could only help but wonder if this was one of those rare moments in music history where a super group emerges, works beautifully, and then disappears before people realized what they had witnessed; like Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys.
The band returned to run through three more songs one of which was "Paperbag Writer" a Radiohead B-side to Hail to the Thief, which had the crowd gripped in a trance.
Was there an encore? No, but the band proved their point during the nearly two-hour show.
If you are lucky enough to get a chance to see them, GO! But I fear that like so many ultra-hyped superstar bands this may be a short-lived experiment gone so right.