A stop at Express Live! in Columbus, OH September 30 2019 by Andy Wilhelm
A capacity crowd filled Columbus’ downtown venue, EXPRESS LIVE!, on September 30th for an evening of funky vibes, electronic beats, and visual stimulation, courtesy of Thom Yorke’s Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.
Yorke made his return to Columbus just about one year after playing The Schottenstein Center with Radiohead in July of 2018. Additional members of his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes project are longtime producer Nigel Goodrich, who mans the computers and electronic gadgets, plays guitar, and also provides backing vocals, as well as Tarik Barri, who holds down the live video projection on the screens at the rear of the stage.
Yorke is touring in support of his latest album, Anima, which was released this past June. The nearly two hour performance featured music from all 3 of his solo albums, which in addition to Anima include Eraser and Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. Yorke also drew from the soundtrack to the film Suspiria, which he scored, as well as from his 2009-formed band Atoms for Peace.
The show started off with the ambient “Interference,” a dreamy and delicate track that features Yorke on electric piano, bringing the audience into Yorke’s universe, lulling them into a sense of comfort and relaxation. As the song faded out, Yorke picked up a guitar and walked to center stage as an electronic drum beat began to loop, the beginning of “A Brain in a Bottle.” This got the crowd moving and they cheered as Yorke began to show off his funky dance moves, a sly smile crossing his face while Barri simultaneously cast a multitude of mesmerizing orbs onto the background. Throughout the evening Barri’s projected patterns, shapes and textures were a perfect compliment to the music.
The group slowed things down a bit but kept it funky with “Impossible Knots,” then segued effortlessly (this was a reoccurring theme throughout the evening) into “Black Swan.” With bass guitar in hand, Yorke hit the first few notes and the crowd roared in approval, immediately recognizing the incredibly danceable number from Eraser. The audience was grooving hard during this track and kept it up for the rest of the night. The band was putting the energy out there and the audience was giving it right back. Other highlights from the set included “Truth Ray” which transitioned into “Traffic,” as well as “Default,” and the beautiful “Suspirium,” which served as a second encore.
Throughout the night Yorke rotated from his electric piano, to his guitar, bass, electronics, and back again. It was a beautiful evening that included sounds dreamy and spiritual, as well as upbeat and body-moving, a live performance that stimulated multiple senses. If that sounds appealing I highly suggest you check out one of their remaining shows. You will not be disappointed.
A Brain in a Bottle
Nose Grows Some
(Ladies & Gentlemen, Thank You for Coming)
Not the News
Atoms for Peace
* Atoms for Peace song
Upcoming Tour Dates
Oct 11 Austin City Limits, Austin, TX
Oct 18 Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA
Oct 20 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
Oct 21 Orpheum, Vancouver, BC
Oct 22 The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, OR
Oct 25 Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 26 The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV
Oct 29 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Oct 30 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
July 01 Open’er Festival, Gdynia, Poland
July 04 Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark