Drawings by Jenny Soep
“Okay, look that way and listen this way,” he joked. Once you’ve seen one burning zombie, you’ve seen them all – while Byrne’s hypnotic show was not to be missed.
"Of course, that Byrne can take such absurdity and turn it into something both hilarious and moving is no surprise given his enduring legacy and irrefutable coolness."
“Can we dance?” shouted one of the crowd, provoking an unexpectedly pedantic response. “Can you dance?” he mused back. “May you dance?”
"...the sweetest, goofiest, most lovely choreography since Stop Making Sense."
"On his return to London he still merited his three encores, one in a tutu, and left an initially reserved crowd spilling into the aisles."
“Performers and audience alike kicked and popped balloons, David Byrne stood in the middle of it all looking like the ring master of one of the greatest shows on earth.”
"Een Dadaïstische songtekst, dansers die over het podium wervelen, Brian Eno nummers en een volledig in het wit geklede cast onder leiding van David Byrne."
"Beide artiesten zijn op tournee met een show die er zich, alles welbeschouwd, niet direct toe leent om op een compleet artificiële en ongedwongen setting als een Belgisch zomerfestival per definitie overeind te blijven. Variatie én spanning, wat had u nog meer gewenst."
"David Byrne, l'uomo che ha reinventato il funky e ricostruito un ponte tra l'alienazione urbana e l'essenza primitiva del ritmo, con una fantasia senza precedenti; a volte fa bene ricordarlo, andandolo a riascoltare."
"Ma è stata la seconda a rivelare il carattere della star che non ha dimenticato il suo passato punk. Anzi lo rivive con la classe di un sessantenne newyorkese molto cool."
"Per capire perché basta ascoltare la radio oggi, i germi di quel lavoro si ritrovano ora nella musica di tanti artisti di fama mondiale."
"Aztán a népes magyar rajongótábor, ha nehezen is, de elengedte az ősz hajú ikont. David Byrne kétségtelenül a poptörténelem egyik legnagyobb hatású előadója, örülünk, hogy láthattuk."
"És a lényeg, az A+ pillanat: a Born Under Punches egyszerre volt kegyetlenebb, hátborzongatóbb és érzékibb a lemezváltozatnál. Még soha nem történt velem ilyesmi: egy kicsit sírtam rajta."
"I když rockoví staromilci Byrna rádi označují za robota, opak je pravdou."
"Last night, David Byrne proved that he still can lead the audience to a boil."
"Genauso drei Tänzer, die viele der Songs mit Modern-Dance illustrieren - mit Requisiten wie Bürosessel und E-Gitarren. Langsam wird die Maschine warm."
"Everyone who was there will remember this event for their whole life."
"Σημασία έχει να δεις εκ του σύνεγγυς τη σημαντικότερη μορφή της νεοκυματικής νεοϋορκέζικης σκηνής των '70s, μιας σκηνής που πρέσβευε αντιρατσιστικά μότο, όπως το ότι “white is the total absence of color” (εξ' ου και η σημειολογία των λευκών κοστουμιών του θιάσου του Byrne)."
"Ήταν η τέλεια συναυλία! Είχε ό,τι επιθυμεί η ψυχή του κατατρεγμένου συναυλιόφιλου που έχει ψωνίσει ένα σχετικά τσιμπημένο εισιτήριο και τον τρώει το σαράκι της ακύρωσης, των επεισοδίων, των καθυστερήσεων και του κακού ήχου:"
"Sucedió apenas transcurrida la quinta canción, un delirio de energía, baile, polirritmias y sabiduría global."
"Aos 57 anos, Byrne tem ainda a loucura, a originalidade, a voz e o talento que sempre o caracterizaram."
"A ansiedade era imensa e sentia-se no olhar de cada fã presente ontem à noite no Coliseu dos Recreios, em Lisboa."
"Ask me to compile the Top 10 concerts I’ve ever seen anywhere, and that one undoubtedly makes the list."
"The bigness of the ideas and the subtle humor — dancer Steven Reker vaulting over Byrne's head — made the night a visual treat without cliché."
"That sounds cynical, but in actuality the Wolf Trap date was an inventive, joyous, irony-free ode to finding — nay, noticing — the moments of poetry that pop up in our mostly prosaic lives."
"In Brooklyn, the above-capacity crowd wasn't deterred by threats of rain, which held off for the length of the two-hour set."
“'My name is Dave, and I’ll be your waiter tonight,' said Byrne as he took the stage."
"Indeed, Byrne was everywhere, and helped curate the first area solely dedicated to hand-picked artists selected by a musician at Bonnaroo at That Tent."
"On a stage that presented performers selected by David Byrne, the Dirty Projectors mixed syncopated West African rhythms – yep, irony – with Byrne-like melodies and vocal harmonies that reference ‘50s pop and ‘60s soul, topping their work on their new, very enjoyable 'Bitte Orca.'”
"As much a piece of performance art as an actual performance, Byrne delighted in smashing the boundaries between artistic disciplines, incorporating modern dance into idiosyncratic pop-rock songs and practically pulling the all-too-eager audience onstage with him."
"'This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around... no time for dancing, for lovey-dovey,' but Byrne was obviously lying. Monday night, for those two hours, that was all there was."
"The 100-minute show, which included four encores, had the sold-out house on its feet and dancing for the concert's duration."
"The 57-year-old took the stage at the stroke of 9 p.m., leading a parade of white-clad musicians and back-up singers. "
"...it was a visual and aural feast unlike anything I’ve experienced."
"'Now that's a way to finish a show,' said one man on the sidewalk.
'That was the gayest marching band I've ever seen,' said his conversation partner."
"David Byrne, the cerebral, witty art rocker who has explored many areas of music and performance since his beginnings as part of the Talking Heads in the 70s, entranced a capacity crowd at Berkeley's Greek Theatre with a show entitled Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno."
"David Byrne es un gran maestro."
"There’s something quite incredible about how an artist one imagines would take himself very seriously is able to come across so down to earth."
"Pero Byrne ya había comenzado a sorprender con una puesta en escena que no hace más que certificar su capacidad para mover ficha en el mundo de la escena y llevar el rock a otros lugares."
"No defraudó ni un ápice la visita de este portentoso artista; todo lo contrario, su concierto en la sala será de los que perdurarán en la memoria, la retina y la vista."
"David Byrne è stato ed è un visionario, qualche volta così trendy da far gola all'universo letterario di Oscar Wilde, spesso così multimediale da far forza in un gioco futurista e scorazzare oltre l’elettronica."
"Vecchio e nuovo repertorio si fondono per tutta la durata dello spettacolo in una unicità che conferma l’intelligenza creativa di David Byrne e Brian Eno, collaboratore come allora del nuovo lavoro 'Everything That Happens Will Happen Today' del 2008."
"Wie er am Freitagabend im Volkshaus auf die Bühne stakst, ein langer, dünner Mann mit schlohweissem Haar, um dann verknotet und mit vergittertem Gesicht eine stockende Ansprache zu halten, die klingt wie Sprache gewordene Nervosität, treffen ihn alle Vorurteile aufs Mal."
"Das hat fast schon etwas Spirituelles, stünde dort oben nicht ein Vordenker der New-Wave-Bewegung, der einst mit seiner Ex-Band Talking Heads das lärmende Drei-Akkord-Muster des Punk aufbrach und nervöse, zappelnde Funk-Beats und düstere Ethno-Einflüsse untermischte."
"Dressed top to toe in white, he looked for all the world like an old (very fit and elegant) cricketer returning to the crease."
"During one of many encores for this stunning show, David Byrne, his band, backing singers and three dancers emerge on stage wearing tutus."
"From the moment the Scottish-born New Yorker emerged with his four-man band and three backing singers, there was magic afoot."
"Byrne tore up the house with a show that was colourful, exciting, funky, funny and clever, bringing his audience to their feet, never to sit down, with a devastatingly powerful version of Talking Heads' Crosseyed And Painless."
"Clearly the show has been tightly choreographed, yet there's a sense of spontaneity. That's a tricky feat to pull off, but Byrne -- a true renaissance man -- manages it."
"Na een nummertje of tien is er dan uiteindelijk toch 'geen houden meer aan'. De Grote Kale Beveiligingsmeneer (GKB) van Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn probeert het aanvankelijk nog wel, maar de fans op leeftijd die zich - eerst nog schuchter, daarna steeds rebelser en in groteren getale - voor het podium melden om zich oog in oog met David Byrne in het middelbare zweet te dansen, laten zich niet meer wegsturen."
"Le show s'équilibre alors parfaitement entre hédonisme, intensité urbaine et les moments rêveurs deEverything That Happens plus tourné vers une pop élégiaque."
"The singers danced and played music, and the dancers sang and played all across the stage, including through Byrne's legs and over his head."
"It sounds remarkable, a reinvention rather than a recreation of the past. At moments like that, Byrne seems to be dealing in the opposite of nostalgia, as inventive as he ever was."
"Looking like some kind of vaguely sinister religious cult, David Byrne and his band kicked off their latest British tour dressed in pristine white from head to toe."
"These were not the sort of performers one normally sees flanking R n' B crooners or dance music acts; this trio - two girls and a bloke - were trained athletic contemporary dancers with a vocabulary of moves that referenced great New York names like Merce Cunningham and Lucinda Childs. How very David Byrne."
"He came on stage in brilliant white from his hair to his clothes; from his strat to his shoes; from his band to his rather splendid dancers."
"At a time when many are forecasting the death of pop music in the face of the threat of the internet, Byrne is uniquely optimistic."
"Byrne has grown into his skin, and stands tall, still whippet-thin, with white suit and white guitar and a shock of elegantly white hair; Warhol gone right. Gosh, Eno does like his thin white dukes."
"If rock'n'roll has been elevated to an art form David Byrne is one of the performers who helped put it there."
"A David Byrne concert in Seattle isn't quite a once-in-a-lifetime event, but you wouldn't have known that by the reception here Wednesday night."
"In the midst of a New Wave-reviving musical climate, where everyone from Franz Ferdinand to Ashlee Simpson are mining the days when sonic exploration and world music informed the pop landscape, David Byrne is making the rounds to show us all how it’s done."
"Nonetheless, Crosseyed and Painless is the song that has the audience streaming forth from their seats down to the front of the stage, unable to hold their feet any longer as its uncertain start gives way to the ecstasy of a fully-fledged funk workout."
"If that’s what growing old is about, maybe we shouldn’t get so freaked out after all."
“It felt wonderful singing the songs, and I knew if I didn’t tour, then the recording process would be the last time for quite a while that I’d enjoy performing them—except in the shower.”
"Between him and Eno, every bizarre sound you wish was on shock jock radio today was brewed in their nerd rock labs. They're universally acknowledged as influential."
"David Byrne was a vision of stark white Monday at Jack Singer Concert Hall, from his frosty hair and hospital-like outfit down to his tennis shoes."
"Everyone clamored for their seats as the house lights dimmed and the stage lights came up revealing the man we all came to see, David Byrne."
"David Byrne was born in 1952, so I’m not sure how it’s possible that he was the most vital, energetic person in attendance at his sold-out Radio City Music Hall concert last night. But he was."
"This was more of a performance than a concert, as evidenced by the interpretative stylings of a trio of dancers who together served as the evening’s mischievous Puck from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, stealing and running around with the back-up singers’ microphones, sliding across the stage on cubicle chairs and, at one amazing moment, literally leap-frogging over Byrne’s shoulders while he was in the middle of a guitar solo."
"David Byrne is the most nonchalantly confident stupendously awkward person probably in all of history, but certainly in the history of those disciplines (rock music, conceptual art, bicycle activism, PowerPoint presentation, blogging) to which he is inclined and to which he is invaluable."
"David Byrne (56) heeft niet de gewoonte het spel van de popmuziek volgens de gebruikelijke regels te spelen. Hij geeft nauwelijks nog interviews, heeft lak aan hits en airplay, en had geen zin om langs te gaan bij De laatste show."
"So laute nun mal das Dogma, und daran wolle er sich halten. Die freundlich vorgetragene Ansage des weißhaarigen, drahtigen Herrn ist meterdicke Selbstironie."
"Die Tour könnte erfolgreicher sein, den Dancefloor-Philosophen von einst kennen viele schon nicht mehr. Dass er aber wieder zurecht da oben auf der Bühne steht, das beweist er mit einer so schmissigen wie ambitionierten Show in der Frankfurter Alten Oper."
"He sits down with a fresh beer, and a radio DJ is asking him about the psychedelic African music he has collected and released on Luaka Bop, and someone else is asking about the documentary he made about the chicken-sacrificing Candomblé religion in Brazil, and then I ask him about a little thing I noticed in the sleevenotes to the new album, a reference to a book called What Is the What?, the fictionalised biography of a former child refugee from Sudan by Byrne's friend Dave Eggers."
"Ibland känns det lite väl genomtänkt och fungerande, och även om det ofta svänger bra från scenen blir helheten något stel, det sackar en aning."
"After being brainwashed with unimaginative Eurovision choreography for five Saturdays in a row, it is both uplifting and liberating to meet the dancers that Mr Byrne has with him at the Circus."
"Det eneste ankepunktet må være at konsertarrangøren av en eller annen uforståelig grunn hadde fått for seg at det var lurt å sette ut stoler til publikum når en mann av David Byrnes kaliber skulle innta scenen."
"Byrne's greatness has never been in that he sung a bell, but it is amazing for word when his voice filled up rear view of four secure vocalists. Though it is Byrne's voice on top; it never glossed over, but retains its character."
"Och hela tiden deltar David Byrne själv med ett tafatt danssteg eller en plötslig 360-graderssnurr. Allt tycks möjligt av en kulturell renässansman som gjort balettmusik och dokumentärfilm med samma egensinne."
"I think Michael Jackson is selling his bits and pieces now. I know one of the gloves was up for sale. I’m tempted to try to get a glove."
"Nun ist ein Abend mit David Byrne nicht unbedingt ein Popkonzert gängiger Machart. Es ist eine rhythmische, eingängige, höchst tanzbare Musik, in die aber immer wieder kunstvoll zelebrierte Ecken und Kanten, Überraschungen und Überrumpelungen eingearbeitet sind. Nicht immer ist alles, wie es scheint."
"David Byrne ist der perfekte Entertainer. Mit einer Mischung aus gespieltem Irrsinn, Disziplin und spätjugendlichem Charme zieht der 56-Jährige das Publikum in seinen Bann."
"From the white clothes to the vibrant curtains of color to the unique choreography (one song used swiveling office chairs for props), Byrne's show was an excellently presented whole."
"There was nothing close to ordinary about Friday night's David Byrne concert at Foxwoods' Fox Theatre. In fact, it was more a performance piece than a rock concert."
"It's rooted in rock-solid rhythms, but feels like it's spinning off the axis."
"No substitutes, it's not an a la carte menu," he said. "There is a set menu. There will be dessert. And I'll be your waiter."
"He obviously hasn't lost a step, herking, jerking, walking backwards, and wiggling around with his youthful ensemble. Altogether, Byrne and his crew delivered a spirited and unique audio/visual experience."
"Known for his wildly original stage performances, Byrne didn't disappoint. He and his band took to the stage dressed in blinding white outfits."
"David Byrne is the sort of dude who commands attention with his very presence and as soon as he strode onto the stage at tonight’s sold-out show at Tampa Theatre, and gazed out at the crowd with his intense dark-eyed stare, I found it hard to look away."
"Byrne's rock may be art, but it's never arch. If something about it makes you laugh, that's probably intentional. And the show, before a crowd of 1,325, was art - funny, sexy, joyous art."
"Thirty years later, Byrne is more accepting, of musical soulfulness and sheer beauty, or of the notion that life has meaning after all."
"Better Than: Just about any show you've ever been to. Really."
"It took about four songs into David Byrne's performance at The Calvin Theater earlier this month for someone in the audience to be moved enough to shout during a quiet moment, 'You're a genius.'"
"Still, the most unusual thing about his Hong Kong visit was the fact that the musician brought his bicycle with him. It's unclear where exactly Byrne did his bike riding. He wasn't here long enough to visit our country parks."
"Dressed in white, accompanied by a four-member band with six dancers [the tour has three dancers and three backup singers who occasionally dance—ed.] also in white, his show was a mix of dance, mime and performance art with a loud funk beat to boot."
"It's a show as much for the eyes as the ears, with Byrne and his 10 collaborators, including a four-piece band, three singers and three dancers, dressed in white and often working the songs with highly original choreographed routines."
"The audience, once they had been jolted out of their own zombie-robot ruts, lapped it up, demanded two encores, and thanks to some interpretive dance and the lace tutus saved for the final encore, went home with something new to think about."
"No Psycho Killer - that didn't fit the music-made-with-Eno theme - but everyone went into the night reminded that music made for dancing is a pleasure we all need more of.
Especially music as powerful as this."
"But a David Byrne show is not just about songs. Art school student Byrne gives as much attention to the visual as he does to the setlist."