Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke packed Milwaukee’s historic Riverside Theater while touring in support of his 2014 solo effort, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.
Featuring longtime producer-collaborator Nigel Godrich and visual artist Tarik Barri, the show spanned his solo catalog—including side-project Atoms for Peace and some unreleased material for good measure. Cellist Oliver Coates opened the show.
Ethereal and atmospheric, Yorke’s electronic grooves well-served the visual interpretation of Barri while the musical collective performed mostly in the shadows. Yorke constantly moved with the music, encouraging the sold-out crowd to fully experience the vibe.
Funky “A Brain in a Bottle” was lifted by a melange of circles and other geometric shapes that danced in the background, while Yorke lent emotion to the piece through his guitar and voice. At times it was difficult to tell if the music inspired the visuals or if the graphics were driving Yorke’s activities. They were perfectly intertwined and working in unison.
“Impossible Knots” unfolded into a psychedelic trip that segued into “Black Swan,” the latter featuring Yorke funneling bass grooves throughout the theater.
In effect, Barri brought Yorke’s musical passion to life. The looping techniques combined with live guitar and keyboards was more impactful when presented with Barri’s sprawling spiderwebs, astrophysical eruptions and dissolving mountains. The result was a hypnotic and dizzying journey that oscillated between the delicate “Nose Grows Some" and majestic (unreleased) “Two Feet Off The Ground.”
Radiohead’s vast catalog was off the table, but everybody in attendance already knew that to be the case.
See photos from the show below and find Yorke's remaining 2018 dates here.