Thursday, October 30, 2008

David Byrne
Massey Hall Toronto ON
Songs of Byrne/Eno

Talking Heads founder/frontman David Byrne treated us to a memorable dance through his collaborations with Brian Eno...and one or two other songs, depending on who's counting.

The show featured a number of tunes from the new e-record, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today; it opens with Strange Overtones and closes with the title song. In between we got One Fine Day,My Big Nurse, The River,Life Is Long, and I Feel My Stuff . Also included, a song not yet on record that is likely called I Never Thought.

Fear of Music was well represented with Life During Wartime being a highlight of the evening. I Zimbra, Heaven and Air were there to represent. Would have preferred Drugs and Cities.

Remain in Light was highlighted with The Great Curve, Houses in Motion, Crosseyed & Painless and Once in A Lifetime on the set list.

More Songs About Buildings and Food was woefully underrepresented. The track he did play, Take Me To The River, hardly even counts as an Eno/Byrne collaboration. Biggest disappointment of the night, not the specific song...the lack of more songs know.

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts had David singing the sampled portions of Help Me Somebody.

Even snuck in a song from The Catherine Wheel, My Big Hands (Fall Through The Cracks).

David is one of the gods of New Wave music. This show, though nowhere near the minimalist beauty of the early Heads, was less oppressively rhythmic than the tours we got in the mid-late 80's. The songs were lush, but with only two percussionists, a keyboardist, a bassist, David's lead guitar and the odd assistance on acoustic, it was still a far cry from the thick wall of sound we got when his band was approaching the size of Wassila, Alaska.

The new songs sound great on first listen...he hasn't lost his sardonic wit, that's for sure.

The only song performed that wasn't part of the Byrne/Eno ouevre was Burning Down the House...and it contained the only lyric flub of the night. Right where David should have been singing "Hold tight /wait till the partys over/Hold tight /were in for nasty weather /There has got to be a way /Burning down the house" we get "Hold tight /were in for nasty weather /Hold tight /whoooooaaaaaaa/There has got to be a way /Burning down the house". The look on David's face when he realized he jumped a line and threw in the 'whoa' was worth the price of admission.

David Byrne
Massey Hall
Toronto ON

Disc 1

Track 01 Intro/I'm Your Waiter
Track 02 Strange Overtones (from Everything That Happens...)
Track 03 I Zimbra (from Fear of Music)
Track 04 One Fine Day (from Everything That Happens...)
Track 05 Help Me Somebody (from My Life In the Bush of Ghosts)
Track 06 Houses In Motion (from Remain In Light)
Track 07 My Big Nurse (from Everything That Happens...)
Track 08 My Big Hands (Fall Through the Cracks) (from The Catherine Wheel)
Track 09 Heaven (from Fear of Music)
Track 10 I Never Thought(?)new song, not on record
Track 11 The River (from Everything That Happens...)
Track 12 Crosseyed and Painless (from Remain In Light)
Track 13 Life Is Long (from Everything That Happens...)

Disc 2

Track 01 Once In A Lifetime (from Remain In Light)
Track 02 Life During Wartime (from Fear of Music)
Track 03 I Feel My Stuff (from Everything That Happens...)
Track 04 (audience/band intro)
encore 1
Track 05 Take Me To The River (from More Songs About Buildings and Food)
Track 06 The Great Curve (from Remain In Light)
Track 07 (audience)
encore 2
Track 08 Air (from Fear of Music)
Track 09 Burning Down the House (from Speaking in Tongues)
encore 3
Track 10 Everything that Happens (from Everything That Happens...)

Complete Show in FLAC format


Anonymous said...

Best concert ever. One great song after another. The Eno/Byrne collaborations of the late 70's were some of the most creative music of the past century. Bush of Ghost was a landmark album. So nice to see your blog and hear some tracks from the concert. I would love to hear more, especially "Help Me Somebody", since it's such a unique version with David vocalizing the part of the preacher, particularly apt since the show really took on a spiritual gospel quality. Very Lynchian.

Would also love to hear Crosseyed and Painless.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm guessing you taped the show? I have a friend who videoed it. Could use a sound upgrade. Please get in touch at if you are interested in helping. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for adding Help me Somebody and Cross Eyed and Painless!!!!!!!!!!!
Byrne's guitar on Help Me is so intense.

Would it be too much to ask for Strange Overtones and One Fine Day?

Seeing them performed live gave me a new appreciation for how amazing they are.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm pushing it...
Intro/I'm your waiter and My Big Hands and the unreleased new trackz(actually only available if you purchase the special edition CD with 6 or so extra tracks).