By Jonathan Maus
I am now a David Byrne fan.
I must confess, prior to last night’s show, the extent of my experience with David Byrne’s music were the handful of top hits the Talking Heads had back in the ’80s (or was it the ’90s, I don’t even remember). But after his amazing show in downtown Portland last night, there is simply no way not to be impressed with this guy.
The dancers, the music, the big and sexy surprise at the end (don’t want to spoil it for others who might see the show in the future) — it was a visual and aural feast unlike anything I’ve experienced.
Besides all that, I also learned a few things.
1) The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall needs a lot more bike parking. When we (Tony Pereira and I) showed up, there were bikes all over the place. We were running late so we locked to something that wasn’t very secure. Which local venue will be the first one to request and install an on-street bike parking corral?!
2) (Related to #1) David Byrne has a lot of bikey fans. I couldn’t believe all the bike scenesters I ran into. I ended up sitting next to author and The Oregonian reporter Jeff Mapes and bike planner/expert Mia Birk. Also in the crowd were bike lawyer Ray Thomas, Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, the Community Cycling Center’s communications director Alison Graves (yes, they’re married), Shift elder Ken Southerland, BTA staffer and consummate bike community volunteer Carl Larson, former Trimet bike planner (and organizer of the Multnomah County Bike Fair) Kiran Limaye, and others.
3) David Byrne is cool. For someone in their mid-upper 50s, this guy looks, moves, and sounds great. He is the perfect testament to what a life of daily bike riding can do for your mind, body, and spirit.
4) The Ross Island Bridge hurts our bike PR. Turns out that Mr. Byrne took a ride with some friends prior to the show. It went great, until he tried to bike over the Ross Island Bridge (Note: next time he’s in town, make sure he rides with people who keep him away from such un-bike-friendly atrocities like that).
5) I should have stayed backstage longer. It was great to meet Mr. Byrne and chat with him for a few minutes, but since he had tons of other people to chat with, we let him move along. Later that night, I realized I could have probably talked with him a bit more. I still would love to know the how and why he became such a biking believer.