Last night I went to see David Byrne at the Auditorium Theater here in Chicago. I can say this was easily the best show I’ve seen in a decade (but probably longer). Depending on the song, there were anywhere between 3 and 11 musicians on the stage at any given time- all wearing grey shirts, grey suits, and no shoes. All the instruments were wirelessly miked, allowing the musicians to execute what I can best describe as a mixture between marching band moves and modern dance. There was nothing on the floor of the stage: no clutter, no instrument stands, no wires.
Byrne played 7 songs off his new album, American Utopia. Often at a show like this, fans would likely be sitting through the new material just to wait for him to play a few Talking Heads hits. The stage show and dance routines were so compelling though, the crowd was enraptured from the opening number, “Here”, until the last encore: a compelling Janelle Monáe cover called “Hell You Talmbout” sung in memory of unarmed blacks slain by cops over the past decades.
There were 8 Talking Heads songs throughout the 21 tune set, including “Burning Down The House”,”This Must Be The Place”, and “Once In A Lifetime”.
It’s a long run. The tour began on March 3rd and goes until October 6th. For dates and other tour information visit the David Byrne American Utopia website.