It sounded like a practical joke at first: Radiohead’s Thom Yorke starting a band with frat-funk bassist Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers? But after a string of successful dates in the United States, including California’s Coachella Festival, it’s clear that Atoms for Peace mean business — and know how to stir up one hell of a party. It’s been seven years since Radiohead last played at a Japanese festival and this looks to be the next best thing. Maybe even better.
Also check out: Friday night headliners Muse are one of the tightest rock bands on the planet, but they might be outgunned by ramshackle indie collective Broken Social Scene, whose ebullient performance at Fuji Rock in 2006 has gone down in festival lore. The nostalgia crowd should enjoy grizzled old coots Roxy Music and John Fogerty on Saturday, while hipsters can get a healthy dose of “it” bands LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Vampire Weekend and MGMT.
The setting: A mountain valley in Niigata, blessed with verdant nature and notoriously fickle weather.
When/where: July 30 – Aug. 1, Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata Prefecture. Tickets: ¥16,800 per day or ¥39,800 for the weekend. For more details, visit www.fujirockfestival.com