Thom Yorke at The Echoplex: “Kind Of A Rehearsal”

The Echoplex, Los Angeles
October 2, 2009

Tweet of the day: “Secured tix to the semi-secret Thom Yorke and friends show tonight. This is why I live in LA…they don’t do this shit in Kansas” (@brandonyano).

Thom Yorke and Flea

Thom Yorke and Flea

At 8:28pm Monday night, September 28, The Scenestar broke the news that Radiohead front man Thom Yorke had put together a new band and would be playing at The Orpheum in Los Angeles on October 4th and 5th.  Actually, let me rephrase – Yorke broke the news on Dead Airspace (although many of us heard about it first from The Scenestar), stating: “in the past couple of weeks I’ve been getting a band together for fun to play the Eraser stuff live and the new songs etc.. to see if it could work! At the beginning of October the 4th and 5th we are going to do a couple of shows at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. We don’t really have a name and the set will not be very long cuz ..well …we haven’t got that much material yet!”

Thom Yorke singing a new, untitled song

Thom Yorke singing a new song

Tickets for the October 4 and 5 shows went on sale Tuesday morning (September 29) at 10:00am and, as expected, sold out in minutes. Then, on Thursday morning (October 1), The LA Weekly posted a story surrounding a possible Thom Yorke and friends “secret show” at The Echoplex on Friday, October 2nd. Bloggers and fans speculated until Yorke posted another update on Dead Airspace late Thursday, confirming this additional, intimate show. Yorke’s post included a faulty link to purchase tickets, an announcement that tickets would go on sale at 8:15pm Thursday night, and the disclaimer, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  That post has since been edited, because Yorke’s suspicions proved true and tickets did not go on sale at 8:15pm Thursday night.  (Yorke also included a working link to buy tickets in his revised post.)

Kind of a rehearsal

The band with no name

Instead, tickets were sold via TicketWeb at noon on Friday.  The gap between the initial announcement and the actual on-sale gave scalpers (who later attempted to sell tickets for as much as $3,500 on eBay)  enough time to ready their troops.  Unfortunately, it seems TicketWeb may not have had enough time to ready their servers.  Just minutes after the clock struck 12, there were hundreds of Tweets complaining of TicketWeb crashes and claiming “TicketWeb Fail”.  I know it’s frustrating, but to be fair, some major ticketing sites (including Ticketmaster and Live Nation) have been reported to crash during high-profile on-sales. Furthermore, in this case, we’re talking about one of the largest artists in the world, playing at a very small venue (approx. 700 capacity).  If the system did indeed crash, it should come as little to no surprise. As it happened, I was stuck in the “processing” queue for 12 minutes before the “sold out” message appeared.

Kind of a rehearsal

Kind of a rehearsal

For the lucky friends and fans of the band who got in, well. . . we were lucky.  Prior to the show I heard several audience members discussing the “little miracles” that allowed them to be there. Indeed, it felt miraculous to be introduced to new material and the formation of a new band led by Yorke, in such close proximity to the stage. This show was billed as a “warm-up,” as Yorke put it, “kind of a rehearsal.”

Well, I always imagined Yorke held himself to extraordinarily high standards, but if that show was a rehearsal, then a “rehearsal” has made its way into my top concerts of all time.

The band is comprised of exceptional musical talents: Thom Yorke (of course), Joey Waronker, Nigel Godrich, Flea , and Mauro Refosco.  To kick off the show, the as of yet unnamed band played Yorke’s solo album, Eraser, start to finish.  Yorke also debuted some brand new songs, solo, during one of two encores. He then invited the band back to join in on the remaining three songs.

Yorke gives the bird to requests for "Freebird"

Yorke gives the bird to requests for "Freebird"

If you were fortunate enough to find a place toward the front of the venue (under the high ceiling), you were treated to great sound, enjoyed watching Yorke lose himself in dance (although, you likely couldn’t miss that, regardless of where you stood), and watched closely as Yorke masterfully created and replicated the magnificent sound he’s known for.  The intimacy of the venue was further appreciated as Yorke joked, interacted with, and flipped off the audience.

Yorke didn’t flip off everyone, just the handful of people who were requesting “Freebird!” between songs.  Surprised people still do that?  Well, so was Yorke, “Shouldn’t you be calling out Stone Temple Pilots or something more current? Freebird is so 80’s!”

Thankfully, ignoring the audience (after showing them how he felt about the “Freebird” requests by giving them the bird), Yorke kicked in to more of his own songs.  “That sounded great!” yelled a fan, following the next song.

“Thank you,” Yorke replied with a smile, “it’s my job.”  Then, with another smile (bordering on a smirk), Yorke added, “sometimes I get paid for it.”

And therein lies another small miracle of this show, tickets were only $20 each. Thank you, Thom and the unnamed band.  Seeing as that was the rehearsal, I think you’re ready for the shows on Sunday and Monday.

Videos from the show:

New Song “Skirting On The Surface”:

New Song “Open The Floodgates”:

Next time, dance like you mean it, Thom 😉

Since it was a special show, here’s the set list (via At Ease).
01 The Eraser
02 Analyse
03 The Clock
04 Black Swan
05 Skip Divided
06 Atoms for Peace
07 And It Rained All Night
08 Harrowdown Hill
09 Cymbal Rush

Encore one [Thom solo]:

10 Open the Floodgates
11 Lotus Flower
12 Skirting on the Surface
13 Judge, Jury, Executioner

Encore two [full band]:

14 Paperbag Writer
15 The Hollow Earth
16 Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses



Filed under Radiohead, The Echoplex

36 responses to “Thom Yorke at The Echoplex: “Kind Of A Rehearsal”

  1. Pingback: The Evolution of Radiohead “Lotus Flower” | Rock Is A Girl's Best Friend

  2. Pingback: Atoms For Peace (Thom Yorke Band): Transcending Music « Rock Is A Girl's Best Friend

  3. Pingback: “Kind of a rehearsal…” « Lessons Learned in Teashops

  4. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  5. Pingback: Thom Yorke, Supergrass/The Hot Rats, Nigel Godrich, and Maroon 5 Haiti Benefit Concert « Rock Is A Girl's Best Friend

  6. silvana

    Incredible, i live so far, in Chile, is too far, but the taste is the same, good Thom

  7. Pingback: The Pilgrimage of U2 « Rock Is A Girl's Best Friend

  8. Pingback: Thom Yorke and friends at "The Echoplex" - 2nd Oct 09 - Gamers Underground

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  10. Isn’t Thom so gorgeous! Best voice in the world!

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  12. Pingback: Follow Up on Thom « Red Room Salon

  13. Pingback: Thom Yorke Band at The Orpheum Night 2 | LP33 Blog Network: New Music - Discover, Enjoy, Share

  14. Pingback: Thom Yorke Band at The Orpheum, Night 2 « Rock Is A Girl's Best Friend

  15. Pingback: Videos! Thom Yorke’s New Band, Including Flea (Of RHCP) 

  16. yepmetoo

    brilliant videos, brilliant post…you rock!

  17. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Thom Yorke – The Eraser (Live)

  18. Pingback: Thom Yorke Band at The Orpheum Night 1 | LP33 Blog Network: New Music - Discover, Enjoy, Share

  19. Pingback: Thom Yorke & Co. Live in LA

  20. Paul

    All your videos are amazing. THANK YOU.

  21. Pingback: Thom Yorke Band at The Orpheum, Night 1 « Rock Is A Girl's Best Friend

  22. Pingback: Top Posts «

  23. paisley

    I’d like you to know we really appreciate your work… great quality! hope you’ve enjoyed the gig anyway 😉

    • Thank you! Yes, it would have been impossible not to enjoy that show! Happy to hear you like what you see – that makes it all worth it.

      Going back again tonight and Monday, so get ready. . .

      Thank you again (and all those who commented above).

  24. Evan

    Good review and amazing videos. I can’t thank you enough.

  25. Star for posting these. Awesome quality.

  26. Pingback: Thom Yorke at The Echoplex: The Not-So-Secret Show « Rock Is A … | girls

  27. Pingback: Thom Yorke at The Echoplex – The Not So Secret Show | LP33 Blog Network: New Music - Discover, Enjoy, Share

  28. daniel

    great pics and vids! i was lucky enough to get in there too…amazing show.

    question, what did you use to record the videos? every time i try to record video at shows, the audio is way too distorted, but yours sounds so clear.

  29. Pingback: Thom Yorke & Fleaの新バンド再まとめ |

  30. Thanks a lot

    This was a great surprise for me.

    Now gonna get some sleep, cause I’m exhausted from shaking my ass off…


  31. jon e.

    I’m actually glad I woke up sick again today because if I had woken up healthy after missing this I would have killed myself

    you .

  32. Thank you so much, you made my day !

  33. tim

    these are SEXY good.
    great quality video and audio; already looking forward to the rips.

  34. andrew

    Thanks for posting all these high quality vids. I’m so jealous by the way.


    Wow. I think I may weep.

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