Thom Yorke at the Fonda December 12th, 2017
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke performed last night at the Fonda Theatre in his adopted city of Los Angeles. Before the show began, fans were high-fiving as they entered the venue, giddy that they made it into such an intimate event. The room was full and anticipation high once the curtain finally rose at 10 p.m. Accompanied by longtime producer Nigel Godrich and audiovisual artist Tarki Barri, Yorke took the stage without much fanfare nor any support act.
Having just reissued his album “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” (originally a 2014 BitTorrent release) on Dec. 8, his performance at the Fonda, one of two California shows, was somewhat of a live mix. He began the set with “The Clock” from his 2006 release “The Eraser” and followed with “A Brain In A Bottle” and “Impossible Knots” from “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.” Sporting his signature man bun, Yorke and Co. carried through their set of backbeats, bleeps and texture. While the bulk of the audience watched intently as Yorke danced amid artsy visuals and strobes projected across the stage and his face, a handful of scenesters hung at the back, twiddling their goatees and discussing the nuances of the tracks.
One song after another and down a restless oscillating rabbit hole, they worked through Yorke’s solo catalog including some deeper and newer cuts like “Rude Person” and “Not The News.” Watching the show from the balcony was Yorke’s mate in Atoms For Peace, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Yorke performed the title track to “Amok,” the group’s only release. One of the very few things Yorke said between songs was “My memory’s not what it used to be.” Seemed like the crowd was hungry for more banter of any kind, but Yorke kept the talking to a bare minimum, letting the frenetic rhythms and his inimitable wail do all the necessary talking.
He occasionally slung a guitar over his shoulder, smiling and making eye contact with the crowd, but the bulk of the performance was spent dancing in his own twitchy headspace or as one of three guys pushing buttons. People cheered after they were sure each song was over, but they didn’t overdo it. Yorke closed the set with “Nose Grows Some” and then “Cymbal Rush” from “The Eraser.” They returned for an encore of “Interference” from “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes,” ending the night with the lyrics “I don’t have the right to interfere.” But we know he will and we want him to.
Shot for Buzzbands.LA