It’s not often that at a concert, the artist encourages you to take photos and film the performance, but that’s exactly what David Byrne did at his recent show in Brooklyn.
Though the Talking Heads frontman, who teamed up with St. Vincent for his latest release, Love This Giant, announced right before going on stage that he didn’t mind people using their phones to take a picture or two, he wasn’t interested in seeing any iPads waving throughout the set. He told fans to enjoy the concert with their own eyes.
The nearly two-hour show was definitely a sight to behold. Byrne, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark and the 10-piece band are a well oiled-machine that can’t help but move perfectly in sync.
It doesn’t hurt that the whole lot of them were dressed like they were heading to church: Byrne in his heavenly white shirt and suspenders, and Clark in a brocaded navy blue knee-length skirt. It was also not surprising that Clark referred to Byrne as the resident preacher for the night.
The two kicked the night off with “Who,” the first single off of their joint effort, with Clark showing off her falsetto with the song's chorus of “Who is an honest man?”
Byrne seemed willing to let his female companion lead the entire show, often choosing to step aside and show off his dance moves.
For “Cruel,” off St. Vincent's 2011 album Strange Mercy, he bopped around in a conga line and helped sing back-up. On the melancholy ballad “Cheerleader,” everyone, including David Byrne, laid down on the floor while Clark stayed center stage. Though it seemed a little tough for the tuba player to get down, he managed to do it without missing a note.
Clark’s best moment was during “The Party” off 2009’s Actor. Slowing things down, the singer slow danced with one of the trumpet players as Byrne waltzed around with the rest of the band members eventually coming face to face with her towards the end for a sweet staring contest.
She seemed to appreciate Byrne’s stage antics, letting the crowd know she first heard of the singer when he appeared in 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds.
“If you would have told a 3-year-old me I would be performing with David Byrne, I would have called you a liar,” Clark told the crowd as they began their first encore.
Byrne did however make time to sing some of his most well known songs like “Burning Down The House” and “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody),” which had him doing some very interesting modern dance moves that would seem appropriate for a tai-chi session.
The night ended with Byrne wrangling up his congregation for a ring around the rosie performance of Talking Heads’ “Road To Nowhere.”
Check out St. Vincent and Byrne as they continue their U.S. tour, finishing up in Portland, OR on October 18.
By Shannon Carlin
Photos by Nadia Chaudhury