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« Erase the Word...and the Song: Ben Vida at Lampo Review: Franz Ferdinand @ the Vic, 10/10 »

Review Fri Oct 11 2013

Review: Atoms for Peace @ UIC Pavilion, 10/2

*Writer apologizes for delay in this review, due to malfunctioning and unresponsive laptop.

Atoms for Peace at first glance is an interesting hybrid. What do you get when you take the ingenuity and forward-thinking musicality of Thom Yorke, and blend it with the talented, energized rock of Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers? Add in the musical production of Nigel Godrich and percussion of Mauro Refosco and Joey Waronker. Does that combination work when placed side by side? Honestly, it does. The juxtaposition of the two musical styles forms this awesome mix of high-octane, rhythmic rock that leaves you energized and hypnotized, unable to take your eyes off of the performers in front of you and the music that they create.

This concert was long awaited from the group's creation, way back in 2009. They fuddled with their name, calling themselves ????? for show advertisements and not settling on a name, until they officially marked themselves Atoms for Peace, partially a nod to Thom Yorke's song off of his solo album, The Eraser. Shrouded in mystery, the hype for Atoms for Peace grew, especially for fans of Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Though they had been recording for years, their first official album, Amok, was released this past February.

The show was a nod to their first set of recorded material, but also it was an affirmation of the group's status. No longer were they deliberating a name, or spending time recording without outputting a release. Here they were, concept formed and music style honed in on. This came to life throughout their set, as they were clearly in their element.

Their first song of the set, "Before Your Very Eyes," featured looping and intricate rhythmic structures. Thom Yorke quickly began dancing about the stage for the remainder of the evening, starting off with the energy he gained from this song. "Default," the group's biggest hit, featured synthesizer effects and a dark and gritty tone. Again, Thom Yorke brought the energy by jumping around the stage while Flea seemed to be in another world, focusing only on the guitar jam sessions that would frequently spur from the music.

Thom Yorke solo material dotted the set, such as melancholy "The Clock." The piano interlude was extremely intimate and personal, as Thom Yorke's voice rang out, "You got me into this mess."

The rest of the set featured Atoms for Peace originals, a cover of an Unkle song, and a cover of a Radiohead song, mixed with Thom Yorke solo material. The group had a commanding presence, and the sound quality in UIC Pavilion was stellar. When mixed with the light show the group demonstrated, the show was near perfect. Both Thom Yorke and Flea brought such immense energy, and though their musical styles are polar opposites, they proved that they can combine them to perfect harmony and a common ground. Bouncing from darker material to more upbeat with extreme ease, Atoms for Peace showed that the combination of these two musicians to form a supergroup is something that their fans will definitely want to see grow in the future.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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