David Byrne‘s name is synonymous with musical ambition. Making his name as a founding member of art-pop heroes Talking Heads and parlaying it into a long career as a solo artist, label head, and author, Byrne not only understands how to write music, but how to break it down in the most precise ways possible. So when the man himself promises “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense,” you better get yourself to that show.
Stop Making Sense, for those of you born in the Clinton administration and later, is a 1984 concert film of Talking Heads performing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, widely considered one of the best in the genre. Brimming with the band’s biggest hits like “Psycho Killer” and “This Must Be the Place,” it set the tone for Byrne and Talking Heads’ performances in following decades: Wherever he goes, you can always expect some combination of big suits, innovative sets, and stumble-walking around the stage.
Byrne recently released his 11th solo studio album, American Utopia, and will be debuting work from it to San Francisco at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on August 22. He’s also promised some Talking Heads classics that we know and love, and that he’s bringing an “untethered” 12-piece band along with him for something choreographed. Byrne brought a performance fitting that description to Coachella this year, so Bill Graham can likely expect something similar.
Also of note is opener Ibeyi, a French sister act that’s a melting pot of musical influences. Twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz were born in Paris, briefly brought up in Havana, incorporate Peruvian rhythms, and sing in a combination of English, French, Spanish, and Yoruba.
David Byrne: American Utopia tour
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
August 22, 2018