Number #12 on the list of life’s greatest pleasures?
Watching David Byrne in concert.
The man has still got it. He never lost it.
The only difference is the replacement of gray instead of brown on that mop of hair.
Every other bit of him is the same. The body, the voice, the leg jerks and awkward hand gestures…
Enough of things past.
At 6:30PM on Friday, September 26th, a somber character dressed all in white entered the stage. David Byrne picked up his guitar, said a quick hello, and jumped into his new single with Brian Eno, “Strange Overtones” from Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. Normally, a very catchy song, I didn’t recognize it until halfway through. This was not a good sign and I was nervous. My anxiety quickly faded when the recognizable beats of “I Zimbra” began. Interpretative dancers dressed in white filled the stage and I knew we were in for something different.
My attempt at writing a professional review is going to end right here. I honestly don’t remember how the rest of the playlist went. I was on a fucking cloud, floating high above the stage. I know he played half of “Remain in Light”much to my delight. The crowd pleasers were “Once in a Lifetime” and “Life During Wartime”. Though two of Talking Heads’ most popular songs, they never ever ever get old. He even treated us to his famous “dance moves” made popular in STOP MAKING SENSE (“treat” being used loosely). A surprising song on the list was “Help Me Somebody” from Byrne and Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. David Byrne sang the part that was originally a sample of Rev. Paul Morton giving a sermon on the album. It worked great! The dancers were silly and all over the place, but it only added to the informality of his shows. Everyone was happy and it bounced back and forth between the performer and his audience. I called as many people as I could and held the phone up to the air. “It’s David Byrne!” I screamed and continued dancing like a fool. I was sticky, my armpits smelled, but I was happy. I was so unbelievably happy.
I looked up at the big screen above me and remembered when I was 16 and first saw David Byrne. I rented STOP MAKING SENSE and thought it was the awe-inspiring footage that I had ever seen. Who was this guy? What were these songs? I learned every lyric, every dance move. For the past 10 years, Talking Heads have been my favorite band.
And to have the opportunity to stand in front of the singer, singing the words along with him, well, it’s one of the greatest pleasures in life.