David Byrne debuted “untethered” ‘American Utopia’ tour in NJ (video, pics, setlist)
David Byrne debuted his American Utopia tour on Saturday night (3/3) at Red Bank, NJ's Count Basie Theatre. It was the first of a few warm up dates for what Byrne has described as the most ambitious stage show he's done since Stop Making Sense. Almost a continuation of his 2012 tour with St. Vincent, it features 12 musicians (a good percentage of them on drums/percussion), playing wirelessly with no amps or anything at all on stage, plus dramatic lighting throwing shapes on a curtain around the stage. As Ron Ozer wrote on Instagram:
The band is completely wireless and moves in and out of each other in a wide open stage bounded by metal string curtains that part for sliding in and out yet reflect shadows and become various parts of the world in their use. There was a bit of politics, primarily in a plea for everyone to register to vote, a mention that Marcos (the couple he wrote a musical about with Fatboy Slim) were great friends and clients of one Paul Manafort. And a colossal burst of social protest in the final Janelle Monáe cover where the band and David shook the rafters saying the names of the many many people who have been lost in some of our most sad moments as a country recently, making sure repeatedly that their names not be forgotten.
In addition to songs from American Utopia and other solo material, David mixed plenty of Talking Heads songs into the set, including "I Zimbra," "Slippery People," "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody), "The Great Curve," "Born Under Punches," and "Burning Down the House." He also performed "I Should Watch TV" from his album with St. Vincent, "To Jam" from the BPA album he made with Norman Cook, and, as noted above, the night ended with a cover of Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout."
For this first show, David asked the audience not to take photos or video, but a lot of people did. Check out Instagram pics and video, along with the setlist, below.
David Byrne will play NYC's Panorama festival this summer.
SETLIST: David Byrne @ Count Basie Theatre 3/3/2018
I Zimbra (Talking Heads)
Slippery People (Talking Heads)
I Should Watch TV (David Byrne & St. Vincent cover)
Everybody’s Coming to My House
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) (Talking Heads)
Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads)
Doing the Right Thing
The Great Curve (Talking Heads)
I Dance Like This
Every Day Is a Miracle
Like Humans Do
Blind (Talking Heads)
Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)
Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) (Talking Heads)
Hell You Talmbout (Janelle Monáe cover)