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David Byrne testing out ambitious new stage show on short East Coast tour

david-byrne

David Byrne is finishing up work on his new solo album which includes collaborations with old friend Brian Eno, as well as Oneohtrix Point Never. Details for that are still to come, but David will be testing out new material, and an ambitious new stage show, on a short East Coast tour in March. Says David:

Some months ago I went to Clair Bothers in Manheim, PA to test out tech for some new live shows. I had an idea that everyone in the band might be mobile… so there would be no risers, drum platform or any of that stuff. I’d experienced a taste of this on the tour I did with St. Vincent, where all the brass players were mobile.

With everyone mobile, I realized the stage could be completely clear. If we could have the monitors in our ears, the amps off-stage and the lights up high, then we had the possibility of a completely empty space.

David goes on to explain the complexities and difficulties of a show like this but says they seem to have found a solution and that this will be “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense.” Read David’s whole note below.

Dates don’t include a show in NYC but there are shows in the nearby area, including Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre on March 3 (tickets), Wilkes-Barre, PA’s F.M Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on March 4 (tickets), Waterbury, CT’s Palace Theater on March 9 (tickets), and Kingston, NY’s Ulster PAC on March 10 (tickets). There are also shows in Buffalo, NY and Hershey, PA. Tickets for all dates of the tour go on sale Friday, December 15.

After that short tour, David will play Lollapaloozas in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. All dates are listed below.

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Some months ago I went to Clair Bothers in Manheim, PA to test out tech for some new live shows. I had an idea that everyone in the band might be mobile… so there would be no risers, drum platform or any of that stuff. I’d experienced a taste of this on the tour I did with St. Vincent, where all the brass players were mobile.

With everyone mobile, I realized the stage could be completely clear. If we could have the monitors in our ears, the amps off-stage and the lights up high, then we had the possibility of a completely empty space.

The problem was that there are always a lot of people and gear around the periphery of a music show—amps, monitor mixers, stage hands looking bored, road cases, etc., which would be completely distracting—how to hide that stuff? A curtain or drape obviously, but as I might be doing outdoor venues then there arose the issue of wind and drapes or curtains. A relatively light wind can play havoc with cloth, and if you try and anchor it, you end up having made yourself a very large sail—big enough to pull down the entire rig.

In Vegas and some other places, lightweight chains have been used instead of curtains… so we looked at a sample. It seemed promising, so we tested it at scale, to see if it took light (it seemed possible that the light might go right through) and to make sure it didn’t interfere with the wireless transmissions—or the whole mobile idea would be impossible.

It worked. It takes color beautifully.

Not only does it take color, one can cast shadows on the chain.

The band and I will be testing all of this in front of a live audience during a small number of shows in the beginning of March. We’ll be doing some new songs… and many others that will, I assume, be familiar. I’m excited. This is the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense, so fingers crossed.

David Byrne – 2018 Tour Dates
MAR 3 2018 COUNT BASIE THEATRE RED BANK, NJ
MAR 4 2018 F.M. KIRBY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ART WILKES-BARRE, PA
MAR 6 2018 CENTER FOR THE ARTS BUFFALO, NY
MAR 7 2018 HERSHEY THEATRE HERSHEY, PA
MAR 9 2018 PALACE THEATER WATERBURY, CT
MAR 10 2018 ULSTER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER KINGSTON, NY
MAR 16 2018 LOLLAPALOOZA CHILE SANTIAGO, CHILE
MAR 18 2018 LOLLAPALOOZA ARGENTINA BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
JUL 6 2018 ROSKILDE FESTIVAL ROSKILDE, DENMARK
JUN 25 2018 INMUSIC FESTIVAL ZAGREB, CROATIA

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