Opening Night for ‘The songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno’ Tour
Last night, David Byrne opened his first tour in three years at Bethlehem
PA’s Zoellner Arts Center. As promised, the evening featured the ‘songs of
David Byrne and Brian Eno,’ including a number of choice compositions
from Talking Heads’ storied catalogue.
Byrne opened his performance with the debut performance of ‘Strange
Overtones,’ a key track culled from his new collaboration with Eno,
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The singer/guitarist then
undusted ‘I Zimbra,’ the first track off the Eno produced Talking Heads
album Fear of Music.
The rest of Byrne’s set mixed and matched old and new songs, including
Talking Heads’ classics like ‘Crosseyed & Painless,’ ‘Heaven,’ ‘Once in a
Lifetime’ and ‘Life During Wartime.’ He also honored the oft-overlooked
original Byrne/Eno album, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, with a
rare performance of ‘Help Me Somebody.’ The evening concluded with three
encores, including Byrne’s trademark cover of ‘Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the
River’ and the title cut from Everything that Happens Will Happen Today.
In addition to a tight four-piece band, Byrne’s backing group also
includes a variety of carefully choreographed singers and dancers.
‘Choreographer Annie-B watched most of the day and commented that her fear
that it might be strange having some numbers with lots of dancing (i.e.,
many visual things going on) and others with not so much (where it’s just
the band playing) was allayed,’ Byrne recently wrote on his blog. ‘I
wondered how the songs without dancing would stand up and she thought it
was actually good that at least half of the numbers don’t have dancing. It
gives the eyes a rest and a chance to enjoy the band – who are sounding
good. Amazing actually – I got the hairy arm on one song (goose bumps).’
Byrne’s tour will continue this evening at Baltimore MD’s Lyric Theater.
The former Talking Heads leader is expected to loop back through the U.S.
in early 2009 once his current tour is complete.