David Byrne: Gig of the Week

Via The Sunday Mail

By The Sunday Mail

If rock'n'roll has been elevated to an art form David Byrne is one of the performers who helped put it there.

This stunning show - executed with theatrical flair - reaffirmed the power of music played live. Byrne recreated songs from his most creative period... his groundbreaking collaboration with Brian Eno.

To just stand and play the classic hits - from Take Me To The River to Burning Down The House - would have been enough but the Dumbarton-born superstar has rarely been prepared to simply let the music speak for itself.

How refreshing that at 56, Byrne retains his innovative qualities and seems as hell bent as ever to push the envelope artistically. While it was Byrne's name on the poster this was very much an ensemble piece.

An outstanding band skillfully provided hits from his Talking Heads era including Crosseyed And Painless, Heaven and a showstopping Houses In Motion with a real contemporary edge.

A trio of dancers interpreted the nuances of Byrne's lyrics - often literally - with beautifully choreographed balletic moves.

It was all bathed in inspired lighting, courtesy of Jon Pollak, and a crystal clear sound. The result was a gig which had more the feel of an off-Broadway art installation... reminiscent of The Catherine Wheel, his 1981 collaboration with US choreographer Twyla Tharp and Jonathan Demme's 1984 Talking Heads' movie, Stop Making Sense.

Just three months into 2009 this is already a contender for gig of the year.

December Radio David Byrne Presents: Arabia

More Info