On Saturday night, Thom Yorke, the internationally acclaimed musician best known as the lead man of Radiohead, was headlining DJ to a sold-out house for the final evening of MoMA PS1‘s annual summer Warm Up season, right here in Long Island City. Spared from any of the predicted extreme weather, the crowd gamely held out through intermittent bouts of rain to watch Yorke sing, spin tracks and dance with wild abandon. He followed sets by Rustie, Holy Other, Maria Minerva and Justin Strauss.
Yorke was billed as Atoms for Peace, the name of a side project band he formed with Radiohead producer, Nigel Godrich, and the Red Hot Chile Pepper’s bassist, Flea. The PS1 appearance closely followed the release of the new Atoms for Peace single, “Default,” and Yorke and Godrich shared the stage, djing in tandem.
The stylistic range of their set was broad, from Motown to New Wave, from rap to perky pop. Not surprisingly, the audience was treated to a good serving of dubstep, whose fast, pumping beats kept the energy high through the wetter moments of the evening.
PS1’s sizeable school yard was packed wall-to-wall, fortunately, the Thom Yorke following tends to be polite and patient and the museum’s staff is well-practiced at managing huge crowds and handling celebrity appearances. Fans enjoyed excellent food from the highly esteemed and virtually extant M. Wells, including inspiring selections easily consumed while standing, such as beau soleil oysters, pork tacos and foie gras bologna grilled cheese sandwiches.
Check out live video of the Atoms for Peace set at Consequence of Sound.