The Smile NPR Tiny Desk ConcertJanuary 3, 2023
While we might never see the day when Radiohead performs an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, we will happily “settle” for the next best thing from The Smile. After recently completing a month-long tour of North America in support of their debut album, A Light For Attracting Attention, The Smile’s live performance from NPR’s offices in Washington D.C. came out today.
The band presumably stopped off for a session behind Bob Boilen’s desk on their tour stop in the nation’s capital in November, because they were clearly in top touring form. Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Tom Skinner were also joined by saxophonist Robert Stillman as they coursed through a three-song set of “Pana-vision,” “The Smoke,” and “Skrting On the Surface.”
Donning a purple skullcap a la the dude in the “Paranoid Android” music video, Yorke was in especially shape-shifting form during the performance. He moved from piano to bass to guitar in each of the songs, while singing blissfully through it all. The set’s greatest moment was easily the closer, “Skrting On the Surface,” when Yorke and Greenwood both just went crazy on their guitars as Skinner tapped away hypnotically on his drum set.
Watch The Smile perform their NPR Tiny Desk Concert above.