Wednesday, September 17, 2008

America Was Waiting

Could anything in the world top the announcement that David Byrne and Brian Eno were at long last making another album together? Could anything top the announcement that Byrne was touring in support of the album, playing these new songs along with selections from the Byrne/Eno songbook? Could anything top the fact that the first stop on the tour was the Zoellner Center? Could anything top the amazing seats that we had? Can anything top last night's show? I think not.

The new album is really pretty good. It's currently only available for download here; a physical CD will be released November 25. I found the songs surprisingly melodic, at least in the live versions. I also found a somewhat surprising country influence to them, until I remembered Little Creatures, and then it made sense to me. The show itself was simply amazing. You can find the dates for the rest of the tour through the above link, and if you're a fan of Byrne's, or were a fan of Talking Heads, it's imperative that you attend.

I last saw Talking Heads in 1986, in another memorable show. That tour featured probably 20 musicians on stage - a horn section, full rhythm section, backup chorus, everything but the kitchen sink. This was more stripped down, but the sound was just as large. The stagecraft was simple: the lighting consisted of shifting primary colors against a backdrop, the costumes were simple white shirts and slacks, and in addition to the band the stage only contained three dancers. My happiness was probably in serivce to the fact that the Eno-produced albums are my favorites, and by limiting the playlist to selections from Talking Heads of that period Byrne performed my personal greatest hits.

The show features renditions of "Houses in Motion" and of "Crosseyed and Painless" perhaps better than the originals. If you're a fan of Remain In Light you must catch this tour, which also includes "Born Under Punches" and "Once In a Lifetime." Throw in "I Zimbra", "Heaven", and "Life During Wartime" from Fear of Music and you've got yourself one hell of a good time.

I only wish he would have figured out a way to preform more than one song from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I understand that the songs are built around vocal tracks that were sampled from random radio broadcasts and that the sound would be hard to reproduce live, but the version of "Help Me Somebody" that did make it into the show just left me wanting to hear more. This isn't a complaint, though. In fact, my only complaint was that I saw the show in a concert hall, where one had to dance standing in front of a seat. Seat dancing just doesn't do this music justice.


tunsie said...

I grew up on 3 types of music.jazz.jazz,and jazz.i don't know about the other stuff 2 much.tunsie,tunsie.tunsie

Sandy said...

That's too bad, Tunsie. As much as I like jazz, David Byrne ROCKS!!!! What a great concert. I'm not a dancer, and even I couldn't stop. It was one big standing (dancing) ovation.