"Who the fuck is talking, man?" That was Thom Yorke, a little more than a minute into the first song of Atoms for Peace's second encore during an intimate Los Angeles concert over the weekend. He'd been cooing in falsetto as part of a solo acoustic performance of still-unreleased fan favorite "The Present Tense." The song hadn't been included in the evening's printed set list. There was, in fact, no excuse for idle chatter.
At Ease has helpfully compiled video footage of the "The Present Tense" and other songs from Atoms for Peace's secret-ish "Club Amok" show, held Friday night at L.A. venue Fais Do-Do. Yorke, longtime Radiohead consigliere Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker, and percussionist Mauro Refosco performed a 20-song set that also included Radiohead B-side "Paperbag Writer," UNKLE collaboration "Rabbit in Your Headlights," and other treats for the lucky few who got into the show.
Yorke suggested to the crowd that the gig was "a rehearsal." But to judge by these predictably intense, rhythm-focused performance clips? Atoms are ready for rooms where a lot more people should have no trouble shutting up and listening.