A fine night with Byrne, but pity about the audience

Via The Advertiser - Adelaide

By Lauren McMenemy

Norwood Concert Hall – Saturday

ADELAIDE needs a lesson in concert etiquette. It wasn't until midway through David Byrne's set on Saturday night that a group behind this reviewer stopped talking and laughing loudly (you paid good money to do that?).

Then there was the moron who kept heckling from the balcony, and a fight even broke out down the front.

The behaviour of small pockets of the audience marred what was otherwise a perfect evening with the former Talking Head.

After an unassuming entry - the lights came on, and there he was, dressed in black, still wiry thin though his once-jet black hair is now a shock of grey - Byrne launched into a history of his first song, "Glass, Concrete and Stone," written for the film Dirty Pretty Things. It was a pattern which would be repeated for most of the set, during which Byrne would reveal a wicked sense of humour, self-deprecating and warm, that further endeared the quirky performer.

With a band including a six-piece string ensemble, Byrne took in every aspect of his career - obviously, the Talking Heads era, moving into his solo career, which has encompassed everything from soundtracks to world music.

A song from his dance collaboration The Catherine Wheel; his electronic hit "Lazy," originally done with X-Press 2, re-imagined with strings and percussion.

It was the triple whammy of "Road to Nowhere," :And She Was" and "Once in a Lifetime" which brought the audience to its feet.

When Byrne followed that with Verdi, Jimi Hendrix, "Psycho Killer" and Cole Porter - in that order - he proved what a versatile and enigmatic performer he really is.

The fact he didn't quite fill the theatre, though, reveals one sad fact about modern audiences - legends like Byrne and Brian Wilson struggle to sell, while Neil Diamond gets the Adelaide Oval. Is that fair?

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