Monday, February 16, 2009

David Byrne - Live at Michael Fowler Centre 13th Feb 2009

The reviews following David Byrne’s recent world tour have been so ridiculously good I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see it for myself. With so much hype, I was bracing myself to be disappointed. Instead, this gig exceeded all expectations. Byrne and his band hit the stage all dressed in white and he then chatted to audience for a couple of minutes before launching into Strange Overtones, from the new and exceptionally good, Eno collaboration Everything that happens will happen today. Byrne’s voice was crisp and strong - the sound was good, the band was tight, the three backing singers superb and then there were the dancers. The whole show was highly choreographed, with the dancers coming on and off, moving mic stands, dancing with the backing vocalists, interacting with Byrne as he sang. At one point David Byrne fell backwards into the expectant arms of the dancers, nicely fading out a note as he did so. A further classic time was the ‘dance’ sequence on chairs during the singing of Life is Long.

The gig mixed old and new – exceptional tracks off the new album like One Fine Day, were preceded or followed by older tracks, in this case the crazy I Zimbra and Help me somebody. Timeless Talking Heads tracks like Once in a Lifetime and Life During Wartime really got the crowd pumping. Encore tracks Take me to the River, Born Under Punches and Burning Down the House left the venue ecstatic. The band returned for a third and final encore to play the calming Everything that happens will happen today, to top off an absolutely outstanding Top 10 gig.

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