Posted in music | tour dates | video on March 4, 2009

David Byrne & dancers @ Radio City Music Hall in NYC (photo by Jane Kratochvil)
David Byrne

"C warned me that there was a not so complimentary review in the NY Times this morning, and advised me against reading it. I don't read all the press and reviews we get, but as I do read that paper regularly, I would have inevitably stumbled upon it. Apparently the reviewer, Jon Pareles, loves the Bush Of Ghosts album and has some kind of nostalgia for those days. We all know music snobs who like to remind everyone that they heard so and so back when they were really good. This, however, is the same reviewer who leveled charges of "cultural imperialism" against Bush Of Ghosts in his Rolling Stone review back in the early 80's. For years afterwards, almost every interviewer asked me to respond to his charge, and many press articles quoted it. It was like the joke about "When did you stop beating your wife?" -- the charge was silly and ill-informed, but one was constantly put on the defensive, and even assumed to be guilty, simply by the question being raised. It was annoying, it lasted for years, and it hurt.

Given that track record, I guess 30 years from now he'll figure out what this show was about.

I still haven't read the review, and don't intend to. While taking criticism on board can be constructive, it can also be detrimental to the creative process if it's considered while that process is still under way. It undermines one's enthusiasm and will -- which is OK, beneficial even, but only after a tour (for example) is over. This review, by all reports, wasn't helpful criticism anyway -- it seemed to be one of those reviews that comes from some psychological issues the writer has -- and therefore even a belated reading is not going to help us refine what we do." [DAVID BYRNE]

The review in question was titled "Spectacle, Including a Singer in a Tutu". As you can see above, there were tutus! Our previous Radio City photo set didn't capture that aspect, as all of those pictures were taken during the first three songs.

Missed both Radio City shows? Good news! David Byrne has added a June 3rd show at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ. It happens after (over a month after) he gets back from the European leg of the "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today" tour. $65.00 & $45.00 tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 AM.

All tour dates, and TUTU VIDEO FOOTAGE, below...


Burning Down The House from Jane Kratochvil on Vimeo.


This ain't no party, this ain't no disco from Jane Kratochvil on Vimeo.


David Byrne - 2009 Tour Dates
March 9 Düsseldorf, Germany Tonhalle
March 10 Antwerp, Belgium Koningin Elisabethzaal (QEH)
March 12 Hamburg, Germany CCH2 - Congress Centrum
March 14 Frankfurt, Germany Alte Oper
March 16 Copenhagen, Denmark Falkoner Theatre /
March 17 Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
March 19 Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene
March 20 Malmo, Sweden Concert House
March 22 Hannover, Germany Theater am Aegi
March 23 Berlin, Germany Tempodrom
March 24 Utrecht, Netherlands MC Vredenburg
March 25 Paris, France L'Olympia
March 27 Bristol, England Colston Hall
March 29 Birmingham, England Symphony Hall Birmingham
March 30 Manchester, England Bridgewater Hall
March 31 Glasgow, Scotland Royal Concert Hall
April 1 Gateshead, England The Sage /
April 3 Liverpool, England Philharmonic Hall
April 4 Sheffield, England City Hall
April 6 Dublin, Eire National Concert Hall
April 7 Belfast, N. Ireland Belfast Waterfront
April 9 Oxford, England New Theatre Oxford
April 11 Nottingham, England Royal Centre
April 12 + 13 London, England Royal Festival Hall
April 14 Brighton, England Brighton Dome
April 16 Stuttgart, Germany Hegelsaal
April 17 Zürich, Switzerland Volkshaus Zürich
April 19 @9pm Senigallia, Italy La Fenice
April 20 @9pm Verona, Italy Teatro Filarmonico
April 21 @9pm Milan, Italy Auditorium Dal Verme
April 22 @9pm Modena, Italy Teatro Comunale
April 24 Barcelona, Spain Palau de la Música Catalana
April 26 Oviedo, Spain Auditorio Príncipe Felipe
April 27 Madrid, Spain Teatro Lope de Vega
April 28 Lisbon, Portugal Coliseo
June 03 Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ

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Comments (22)

Don't get me wrong - Jon and I go way back which is why I say this with all due respect. Parales wouldn't know greatness if it took a dump on his face and if you are wondering, yes, I've pooped on his face.

Posted by Lou Reed | March 4, 2009 10:13 AM

This guy sounds like a prick, funny that he was trying to make Byrne look stupid but pretty much he made everyone dislike him, ha snobby snobster

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 10:25 AM

life during wartime

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 10:27 AM

damn...he pwned that reviewer. usually responses to that stuff sound really dumb (a la kanye).

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 10:35 AM

Mr. Pareles apparently found the 3 dancers a distraction from the music.

I enjoyed watching the dancers. Musicians can be great to listen to, but not always the most exciting to watch.

Posted by drewo | March 4, 2009 10:38 AM

I like how he claims he hasn't read the review, but he magically knows it just reflects "psychological issues the writer has"...

rock stars should probably just avoid reading their own reviews.

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 10:44 AM

this reviewer was mad. the byrne show at radio city was incredible and the dancers only added to the magic of the night. amazing job byrne, far exceeded my wife and my expectations. concert was a 9.5

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 10:48 AM

Pareles's NYT review does not indicate that he "loves" Bush of Ghosts or "has some kind of nostalgia for those days."

The review praises Talking Heads, especially "Remain In Light," but doesn't praise "Bush of Ghosts."

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 10:58 AM

it's gotta be tough to be a critic. if something doesn't grab you, what can you do? you wouldn't be an honest critic if you pretended to like things that you really didn't. i imagine the job gets even tougher when the thing you dislike (a david byrne concert) is something that's pretty widely respected, unlike say, a nickleback concert.

i give credit to pareles for writing the review and for at least being honest with himself.

but i also give credit to byrne. he seems very focused on his art. if somebody doesn't like it, oh well.

Posted by mark | March 4, 2009 11:06 AM

ha, what a douche Byrne is for misrepresenting what Pareles actually wrote. Jon Pareles is probably the best music critic out there.

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 11:36 AM

I love David Byrne / Talking Heads. I liked the show at Radio City, but also found that it felt "empty" in contrast to the relationship that I have with the songs. The songs are creepy and strange and awesome. At Radio City, they were just decent. Nothing felt eerie or surprising... It was like a Vegas review or something... I saw Byrne at the Apollo in Sept 2001. Totally different experience. Life During Wartime, at that show, gave me goosebumps. Even thinking about it does. Radio City, not at all.

All that said, Byrne is correct that the listener's psychology defines the experience. For that reason, I wasn't critical of Byrne after the show. Rather, it made me think about myself and how I could ever expect to get the same feeling at a Radio City "party" type show that I could get in my headphones... or at the Apollo a week after 9/11. Perhaps an artist can get closer to that than this concert did, but not attmepting to do so doesn't make it bad. It's different. Byrne is a classy guy. I felt privileged to hear him play these songs, and I liked the staging. But it was just a show, where those songs are way more than just songs...

Posted by evan | March 4, 2009 11:48 AM

will welmont be seated or standing?

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 11:52 AM

June 03 Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ
June 05 The Mann Center, Philadelphia, PA
June 11 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
June 20 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO w/ DeVotchKa
June 24 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA

Posted by Brad | March 4, 2009 4:34 PM

the fucking media!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 7:04 PM

Evan at 11:48 am is far too intelligent to be posting around here. I think you wandered into the wrong place, son.

Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2009 7:13 PM

here's what Pareles said in his RS review from 1981: "But, like most "found" art, it raises stubborn questions about context, manipulation and cultural imperialism."

Whatever one thinks of Pareles, this sentence is not exactly "silly" or "ill-informed," or even accusing anyone of anything. from Byrne's comment, I expected a more dismissive piece...instead it's a 4-star rave review that also mentions some fairly obvious and banal questions about artistic method.

sad that a great artist like Byrne, so rightly acclaimed all his career, should be so emotionally upset by a (positive) review he got nearly 30 years ago--but I guess that's how artists are.

Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2009 12:21 AM

Anyone know if this will be the same production as the Radio City shows and whether it'll be all Eno/Byrne songs again?

Posted by Bronze Medals | March 5, 2009 1:06 AM

David Byrne was a surprise guest on stage with Rufus Wainwright and co @ the blackoutsabbath concert:

http://green-lounge.com/2009/03/rufus-wainwright-blackoutsabbath.html

Posted by Jason Aramburu | March 5, 2009 11:44 AM

that third .mp3 didn't work for me either

Posted by بنات الكويت | February 27, 2010 4:30 AM

work for me either

Posted by دردشه صوتيه | February 27, 2010 4:35 AM

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