Friday, September 26, 2008

If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawnmower

Disappointingly, David Byrne didn't sing that particular song last night. Ten points to anyone who can tell me what Talking Heads song the line is from.

Last night my neighbor L and I went to see David Byrne in concert at the Paramount Theater, and the show was amazing. Our seats were in the fourth row, on the side. DB was RIGHT THERE, right in front of us. And let me assure you, he's as geek sexy as always.

I was first introduced to the Talking Heads when I was in high school. My dad rented their film Stop Making Sense, and it was a revelation for me. At that point in my life, I was in the full throes of Duran Duran mania and I had no idea that a concert could be an artistic performance. Dad had rigged the VCR so that it ran through the stereo, giving us an early version of surround sound. So I bootlegged a tape of the soundtrack, and it quickly became one of my favorite albums ever. And now, more than 20 years later, it still is.

When I was living in Gainesville, FL I had the treat of seeing DB in concert at a fairly small performing arts center. Thanks to a friend who had connections, I was able to score 10th row center seats. The show still holds the title of the BEST CONCERT I've ever seen. Within three songs, the whole place was up and dancing in the aisles. The best song in the show was a version of the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," which brought down the house.

Last night's show wasn't as good, but it still ranks in my top five. As with the show in Gainesville, the crowd was up and dancing in the aisles. The balcony was a mass of bouncing people; I was a bit afraid it would collapse. The playlist was all songs that DB has worked with producer Brian Eno on, and it included Talking Heads standards as well as solo DB songs and an amazing version of "Help Me Somebody" from the album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

The coolest part of the evening, though, was seeing how much DB still seems to get a kick out what he's doing. He was smiling and laughing throughout the concert, and he cracked up when someone from the audience yelled a request for "Freebird." He was also able to laugh at himself when he had to start a song over twice because he couldn't remember the words. It was also fun being part of a crowd that truly appreciated the show. I've been to concerts where the audience wasn't in to the music, and it definitely takes away from the experience. Having the whole place on its feet, singing along was amazing. As L said, "This is a lot of noise for such a little theater."

If I go into labor in the next 24 hours, it will be all David Byrne's fault. I haven't danced that much in years.

Hmmmm - David Byrne Gardner . . . there's a name for Baby Bee.


Memarie Lane said...

David is one of my favorite boy names. Unfortunately it's also the name of my icky neighbor.

knittergran said...

And hokgardner's icky uncle.

Becca said...

OH I hate you for not taking me!!!!!

runnerdude said...

(Nothing but) Flowers
I want my 10 points now :)

Anonymous said...

There you go, introducing Baby Bee to culture right from the get-go. Glad you had a great time. I can't tell you the last time I went to a concert - that would be amazing.

Keeffer said...

I was going to say- that's not even a hard "identify this lyric."

Glad you had a good time. And while the baby is a boy- don't name him after a musician.

Mrs. G. said...

You could call the little guy Byrnie-NOT.

t. Cooke said...

"Nothing But Flowers", which is a song from the last Talking Heads album, *Naked*. Johnny Marr of the Smiths, one of my favorite musicians of all-time, plays the main guitar on that song!

I am a big Talking Heads fan too and have never seen Byrne before. I was excited to see him, especially since this tour is called "The Music of David Byrne and Brian Eno". The three Eno produced Heads albums are special, and I was hoping he'd do songs from them. Man was I excited. Pilgrim really enjoyed it, too.

We say the ACL gig, not the show you were at. It was great! I'll send you the new album here in a sec.

Glad to hear you enjoyed the show!

Liz in Ink said...

We were there, too, with the girls who just about fainted over the dancers. I could not believe the strength of his voice after all these years. That man really knows how to wail....