As the days grow shorter in late fall, there will still be something to smile about for fans of Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Tom Skinner. The first American tour by the group, collectively known as the Smile — and not to be confused with Greenwood and Yorke’s other group, Radiohead — has been set for late fall.
The trio’s shows in the U.S. will all take place in mid-sized theaters, beginning Nov. 14 at Providence, RI’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium and wrapping up just before Christmas with a Dec. 21 gig at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Stops along the way include two New York City shows early in the tour, at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre Nov. 18 and Manhattan’s Hammerstein two nights later.
Other venues along the routing, most of them historic theaters, include Chicago’s Riviera, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Toronto’s Massey Hall, New Orleans’ Orpheum, Detroit’s Masonic Temple and Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday at local time 10 a.m. An announcement from the band said to check the group’s website for additional information on ticket presales, but as of this writing, nothing is on the site beyond general on-sale times.
The Smile’s Nigel Godrich-produced debut album, “A Light for Attracting Attention,” came out for streaming and digital downloads on May 13. CD and vinyl copies will be released June 17.
A European tour began May 16 in Croatia and wraps up with a show in Sicily July 20. There’ll also be a one-off U.K. show at London’s All Points East on August 28 prior to the band taking to the U.S. in mid-November.
Thom Yorke most recently toured as a solo artist, prior to the pandemic in 2019, although he played one gig in Switzerland this past spring. For Radiohead, it’s been a longer gap, as the group last toured in the summer of 2018.
Reviews for the Smile’s debut album have been strong, with an aggregate score of 86 on Metacritic. Uncut magazine said the album “feels more like a refreshment, refinement or even fulfillment of Radiohead core principals, rather than an extracurricular dalliance.”
Don’t expect to hear the Smile play any Radiohead songs on tour, however; setlists from the European tour indicate shows are made up entirely of Smile songs, with the exception of a Yorke solo tune, “Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses,” that typically shows up amid the encores.
London’s Guardian offered a four-star rave review for the group’s show there, saying “Thom Yorke’s latest Radiohead spin-off, alongside Jonny Greenwood and Tom Skinner, excels the more it explores new territory in a thrilling frenzy of analogue synths and percussion. … The vast bulk of these songs are intense, layered and feature Yorke’s vocals and Greenwood on guitar. Exactly how is this not a Radiohead gig? Because Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway are not here? So many of Yorke’s non-Radiohead projects have privileged digitals over instrumentation. It has been easy to interpret his extracurricular activity as the restless singer exploring electronic sounds that other members of Radiohead did not wish to. But the Smile is chock-a-block with guitars – electric and acoustic – with live drumming, and harp for good measure. … (Yet) the Smile are most musically convincing when they stretch farther away from Radiohead.”
The Smile’s full American tour itinerary:
Mon Nov 14 – Providence, RI @ Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Wed Nov 16 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner
Fri Nov 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
Sun Nov 20 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein
Wed Nov 23 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
Fri Nov 25 – Montreal, QC @ MTELUS
Sat Nov 26 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
Mon Nov 28 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre –
Tue Nov 29 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater
Thu Dec 01 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
Sat Dec 03 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
Sun Dec 04 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern
Tue Dec 06 – New Orleans, LA @ Orpheum Theatre
Thu Dec 08 – Dallas, TX @ The Factory in Deep Ellum
Sat Dec 10 – Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom
Wed Dec 14 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Fri Dec 16 – Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater
Sun Dec 18 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Wed Dec 21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Auditorium