In 1984, David Byrne starred in director Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense. This Talking Heads concert film was made on tour for their classic album, Speaking In Tongues, and is considered by many to be the greatest document of live music ever captured on film. Shortly after, Demme went on to direct one of the most celebrated films of the 1990s, The Silence Of The Lambs, while the Talking Heads would produce one of the most celebrated records of the 1980s, Remain In Light.
Last Sunday, David Byrne concluded the world tour for his latest solo record, American Utopia, with a performance at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. 34 years on from Stop Making Sense, Byrne managed to bring the joyous experience of his artistic peak to 2018, and to remind us that his career is in fact one with many peaks.
With a combination of tracks off the new record, plenty of Talking Heads’ greatest hits, and some lesser known highlights from his scattered career (including a surprising Fatboy Slim collaboration), Byrne and his expansive live band vividly rendered a quality of sound reserved only for musicians at the highest level. Topped off with a powerful rendition of Janelle Monae’s timely protest song, “Hell You Talmbout,” Byrne solidified his legacy, not only as an artist and icon, but also as a ground-breaking entertainer and performer.
4.5 / 5
– Sean Brandt