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David Byrne played Eno-songs @ Celebrate Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell in NYC – pics & setlist

photos by Chris La Putt, words by Andrew Frisicano

David Byrne
David Byrne

David Byrne opened the Celebrate Brooklyn 2009 Season with a free show at the Prospect Park bandshell last night (Monday, June 9th). The show continued Dave Byrne’s year-long tour of material from his collaborations with Brian Eno. That show, on its trip around the world, visited NJ’s Wellmont Theater on June 3rd, and Radio City Music Hall on February 27th and 28th. (Pics and reviews from those are linked.)

In Brooklyn, the above-capacity crowd wasn’t deterred by threats of rain, which held off for the length of the two-hour set. David Byrne noted that he biked to the show; he wasn’t the only one, as the ‘bike valet‘ was packed (apparently Byrne rode home too). Those who did park in the bike valet were automatically entered to win a new bike which Byrne showed off from the stage before his set. Those that couldn’t get through the door caught the open-air action from video screens aimed towards the back of the crowd.

Byrne’s set opened, as it has all tour, with “Strange Overtones,” the hypnotic single off the newest Eno/Byrne collaboration Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The bandshell’s reverberating walls were an incredibly jarring transition from punchy studio sound of the original — as catchy as the tune is, it was kind of a strange, underwhelming start.

Things only went up from there, as the band’s sound melded together and its accompanying dancers boosted the visuals. Their dance moves, which traded off with the members of the band, seemed to mimic Byrne’s own jerky mannerisms, as well as the themes of the songs (eg. office chair props during the wage slave anthem “Life Is Long”).

Overall, the energy on stage and in the crowd was high. “Once in a Lifetime,” which came near the end of the set, sent the remaining seated show-goers to their feet. One older couple, who I’m sure had to be around when Byrne hit the scene in ’75, went from joking with their granddaughter about the pot smell in the air to cutting a serious rug for the set’s high-density end.

Byrne used his first encore to introduce the band and special guest, percussionist Steve Scales. The Talking Heads/Byrne regular, who played on both The Name of This Band is Talking Heads to My Life in a Bush of Ghosts for starters, joined the band for two songs that included “Take Me to the River.” As the only one not dressed in all white, Scales bounded across the stage and hyped up the crowd. His unscripted enthusiasm, far from the composed moves of Byrne, added a nice party vibe to the choreographed set.

The band returned for a second two-song encore that included the non-Eno song “Burning Down the House”, and finally, back for a third time, closed with an acoustic-led version of “Everything That Happens.”

The rest of the pictures, the setlist, and remaining Byrne dates (of which there are more TBA) below…

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David Byrne in Prospect Park – June 8 – 2009 – SETLIST (can you confirm?)
Strange Overtones
I Zimbra
One Fine Day
Help Me Somebody
Houses in Motion
My Big Nurse
My Big Hands (Fall Through the Cracks)
Heaven
Moonlight in Glory
Life Is Long
Crosseyed and Painless
Born Under Punches
Once in a Lifetime
Life During Wartime
I Feel My Stuff

Encore 1
Take Me to the River
Great Curve

Encore 2
Air
Burning Down the House

Encore 3
Everything that Happens

David Byrne – 2009 Tour Dates
June 10 @ Charlottesville, VA Charlottesville Pavillion
June 12 @ Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music Festival
June 14 @ Dallas, TX The Majestic Theatre
June 15 @ Houston, TX Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
June 17 @ Santa Fe, NM Lensic Performing Arts Center
June 18 @ Telluride, CO Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 20 @ Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 21 @ Salt Lake City, UT Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
June 23 @ Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
June 24 @ Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre
June 26 @ Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre-U.C. Berkeley
July 6 @ Athens, Greece Badminton Theatre
July 7 @ Skopje, Macedonia Universal Hall
July 8 @ Belgrade, Serbia Sava Centre
July 10 @ Ljubljana, Slovenia Križanke
July 11 @ Vienna, Austria Open Air Arena
July 12 @ Ostrava, Czech Republic Colours Festival
July 13 @ Warsaw, Poland Stodola
July 15 @ Budapest, Hungary Millenáris
July 16 @ Graz, Austria Kasematten
July 17 @ Grado, Italy Diga Nazario Sauro
July 18 @ Fiesole, Italy Festival Teatro Romano
July 20 @ Rome, Italy Parco Della Musica
July 22 @ Ferrara, Italy Piazza Castello
July 23 @ Naples, Italy Castel Sant’Elmo
July 24 @ Locorotondo, Italy Locus Festival, Cantina Sociale
July 27 @ Cagliari, Italy Anfiteatro Romano
July 29 @ Turin, Italy Real Festival, Reggia di Venaria
July 30 @ Lyon, France Grand Théâtre Romain de Fourvière
August 1 Lokeren, Belgium Lokerse Feesten
August 2 @ Amsterdam, Holland Melkweg Robo Saal
August 3 @ London, England Barbican Theatre
August 4 @ Southampton, England Southampton Guildhall
August 9 @ Ledbury, England Big Chill Festival

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