The Smile, the English trio formed by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner, officially became audience-tested as they completed their first run of in-person performances over the weekend (January 29th-30th) with three shows in just over 12 hours.
The trio convened at the Greenwich venue Magazine London for three consecutive concerts at 8:00 p.m., 1:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. GMT, which were simultaneously broadcast with time zone considerations for virtual audiences watching in Europe and Africa, the Americas, and Asia and Australia, respectively.
The venue’s rounded central stage was packed to the edges with an array of gear and sound equipment that promised a more elaborate set than the relatively spare setup for their surprise debut at the Glastonbury Festival Live At Worthy Farm livestream event in May 2021.
That visual promise was fulfilled in spades, as the band ran through an hour-plus setlist that showcased both their collective and individual versatility, marked by constant instrument swapping, massive genre and tonal swings, and the welcome introduction of synths to the trio’s arsenal. Most importantly, the months between appearances have seemed to help fill out the group’s nascent catalogue to a robust, LP-length set, though a release date for their debut album has not yet been announced.