David Byrne

Had Heads Turning, If Not Talking,

At Jacobs Pavilion

August 9th, 2018

David Byrne, the former frontman of the Talking Heads, brought his very unique American Utopia Tour to Jacobs Pavilion on Tuesday evening.


The Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe award winner and 2003 Rock Hall inductee put on an amazing performance in front of a packed house at Nautica.  


The show started off with Byrne sitting alone at a desk with a human brain on it.  Dressed in a grey suit and bare feet, Byrne launched into “Here” from his latest solo album.  The lyrics of the song talk about how different regions of the brain work.   Byrne became our teacher as he got up and pointed to the different parts of the brain he was singing about them.  It was something that could have been taken straight out of a Broadway show.


He was soon joined by twelve other members of the band; all of them wearing matching grey suits and bare feet.  There were two backup singers/dancers, a guitarist, a bassist, a keyboard player and seven percussionists. Each musician carried their instruments and had headsets, which allowed them to freely play and dance to their tightly-choreographed performance.


This is the first time that I've ever seen a concert where there wasn't a drum riser, mic stand or hand-held microphones.  The stage was bare, except for a few props that were used for three or four different songs. However, the dancing and choreography for each number made it truly mesmerizing; it was the most unique thing that I've ever seen at a rock concert.


At one point during the show, Byrne said that he's been asked if there are any backing tracks or triggers to help with the sound.  He said that, “Everything you hear is being playing by these musicians!”


He also mentioned that he is encouraging everyone to vote and that there were voter registration tables set up outside the venue.  He noted that in 2014 the voter turnout for 18 to 29 year-old's was 17%.


Byrne declared, “If you want a future, vote!”


Byrne and company played seven songs from his latest release including “Everyday Is A Miracle,” “I Dance Like This” and the joyful “Everybody’s Coming To My House.”  


Talking Heads songs were also played as the audience was treated to “I Zimbra,” “Once In A Lifetime” and the classic, “Burning Down The House.”


Perhaps one of the best numbers of the evening was “I Should Watch TV,” a tune that Byrne and St. Vincent collaborated on a few years ago.


The band encored with “Dance Together” and the Talking Heads “The Great Curve” while finally ending the show with Jenelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout.”  


David Byrne may be out promoting American Utopia, but he certainly is an American treasure.

Review and photos by Greg Drugan

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