So, I had an absolutely brutal day at work. Don't want to get into it too much but let's just say that constantly having to clean up other people's messes frickin' SUCKS. Brutal. Was so drained during the trainride on the way to the city that I almost passed out in my seat. A full-scale aerobic workout/danceathon seemed out of the question at this point (but fortunately that's exactly what I got).
At first I was kind of pissed that I was going to miss Fang Island at Knitting Factory Brooklyn tonight in lieu of this band (about whom I knew very little prior to the show), but ultimately I'm happy with my choice - this here Atoms for Peace show was, in fact, the best concert I've seen thus far in oh-ten (out of about 25 or so shows seen so far this year).
Took the LIRR in from Syosset at 6:40; made it to Penn in about an hour. C/E uptown to 50th St., quick walk and SHA-ZAM I'm outside Roseland by 8. Had an extra to get rid of (nobody I actually know wanted to pony up the $65[!?] ticket price for said extra), and I found a dude who gladly (and quite graciously) took the extra off my hands. Interestingly, this was a ticketless entry / will call only show, and it looked as though that totally cut down the amount of scalpers and assorted lowlifes that are usually congregatin' outside Roseland prior to the show.
No interest whatsofuckingever in the opening act, some trip-hop guy. Only thing notable about the dude's set was that he mixed in "Idioteque" as his finale. /sarcastic clapping/
Atoms for Peace took the stage just before 9:15, starting off with the title track from Thom Yorke's proper solo album, The Eraser. As would become the theme of the evening, the full band really fleshed out the Eraser tracks, expanding on the more skeletal studio versions of the songs with ballz-to-the-wall THICK instrumentation via rocking the fuck out (and, at times, what seemed like honest-to-goodness dare I say "jamming").
While we're on the subject of instrumentation, Mr. Yorke went back and forth between guitar, keys, percussion, and plenty of dancing his ass off. Great to see him so into it, as it was absurdly HOT inside Roseland and his enthusiasm spurred the crowd on to some epic boogieing (well, it did me at least).
Other instruments being played onstage: bass (by Flea no less), keys, guitars, massive loud double-bass drum kit, assorted weird percussion objects, sampler type dealies (um, I think) and at one point a trumpet.
Can't really help ya out with the setlist; sorry 'bout that.
I listened to The Eraser quite a bit way back when it came out (it actually made #20 on my now quaintly outdated Best Albums of '06 list) but - not gonna lie - haven't busted that badboy out any time recently. I think "Analyse" may have been the second song they played, and "Black Swan" was in there somewhere too, I think during the first "set." In fact, I'm pretty sure they went through much (all, possibly?) of The Eraser's material during the evening.
The more recent "The Hollow Earth" was played as the first song of the two song encore (um, I think?). I'm pretty sure "Everything in Its Right Place" was the only proper Radiohead song played, but who knows, they could have played "These Are My Twisted Words" or some shit and I would have had no earthly clue.
Stuff went down as follows: full band for about 45 minutes, brief break, Mr. Yorke solo on a few songs, then the bang rejoining for about another 20 minutes or so of trippy, hard, psychedelic grooves. During Thom's solo segment, the first two songs he played were declared as "new" (plenty of joking about them being composed so recently that lyrics hadn't even been written yet/etc.). One was called "Daily Mail" and introduced by Thom saying something to the extent of "this is a song about the New York Post, which we have in England... except over there we call it 'The Daily Mail' [paraphrasing here]."
The third and final (um, I think?) song of the solo set was a stunning piano rendition of "Everything In Its Right Place."
Normal me usually dances eighth notes. On this evening, I danced sixteenth notes.
Was gonna write a bunch about the two biggest assholes I encountered (one of whom spilled a beer all over me after I forearmed him cuz he was trying to fucking trample me; the other of whom barreled into me then inexplicably tried to rip my backpack off) but really it was just the typical brand of spoiled NYU pricks / entitled, obnoxious Manhattanite scum / meatheads you see at most Roseland shows. (Anybody who remembers the "SHE LOVES YOU NO LESS!!" idiot from the first MBV show in '08 can commiserate.)
I was really, really, really impressed with the material. If these guys were to, y'know, hypothetically release an album (or some such) that was as good as this show, I'd have to say it would be in the discussion with the new Gorillaz joint and the Fang Island record for Best Album of Oh-Ten. Probly could do some cursory research to find out if there's an Atoms for Peace album in the pipeline, but waaaaaaaaa too tired at this point. Tuddd out.
with any high profile reunion comes the obvious possibility of disappointment due to unrealistic expectations. Within the first few seconds of this show any fears of MBV not being all they're cracked up to be were long gone.
Yes, it is as loud as you've heard described. The band provided the crowd with thousands of pairs of earplugs, which most of those in attendance wisely used. One of the loudest show's I've ever seen.
Kevin Shields owns a lot of Jazzmasters.
The setlist drew predominantly on songs from Loveless, Isn't Anything, and theYou Made Me Realise EP. The band played for about 70-75 minutes total, including a 16 minute version of "You Made Me Realise" to close.
The band's secret weapon is drummer Colm O'Ciosoig, whose beats turned much of the set into an ass shakin' good time. Of the many adjectives one can use for Loveless, "highly danceable" is likely not one that immediately springs to mind, but on this night much of the crowd was using their shoes for dancing rather than gazing.
I was surprised at how young the crowd was as a whole; to me it seemed as though the vast majority of 'em were NYU kids who must have still been in short pants when Loveless came out. Great to see so many young'uns with good taste in music.
At least in the area directly around me (about 10 people back from the stage, directly in the center), it seemed like a fairly knowledgeable crowd. People were losing their shit with each successive song.
The opening bands were terrible, although J Mascis joined the second band Wounded Knees for a noodly jam session, trading off licks with a flautist.
The infamous "noise segment" in "You Made Me Realise" was so loud that crowdmembers who were holding their hands aloft could actually feel the music traveling through the air. I've never experienced anything like this; it looked, felt and sounded like an airplane taking off.
$52? Pish posh. Worth every penny.
Yes, I'll be there tonight, too. Till then, Tuddd out.