I was not sure how the Husband would feel. I was afraid to ask. I had just spent 2+ hours having a truly transcendent experience, but he had come down with a major summer cold & had spent time that afternoon in a dentist chair, & I didn't know if he had been comfortable or present during the evening. I was overcome with relief when we were outside, walking down a South Park Block street, & the Husband turned to me & said- "Am I wrong, or was that the best concert we have ever seen (& we have seen quite a few concerts in our 30 years together)?
I had given the Husband 2 tickets to see David Byrne in concert for his birthday (hoping he would take me). The concert is called- Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno, & all the songs were associated with their collaborations. David Byrne is a very important musical artist to us as individuals & as a couple. In 1977 at a party, I heard a song- Psycho Killer that actually changed my mind about listening to music. At that time in my life my musical menu was full of Sondheim & my high school & college favorites: Carole King, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Paul Simon, & lots of MO-TOWN. When I heard my first Talking Heads single I am sure I was quite high, but the song made a very strong impression under any condition. I had never heard something so raw & primal & yet tuneful. I have remained a life long fan. I have every album by Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Byrne's solo albums, his collaborations with Brian Eno- The Catherine Wheel & My Life In The Bush With Ghosts & his Oscar winning score to The Last Emperor with Ryuichi Sakamoto. I have never stopped listening. Three David Byrne songs are in my Top Ten All Time Favorite Songs. My favorite song ever is Once In A Lifetime & I still get shivers every time I hear it.
The concert opened with David doing some patter before the first number instead of after. He noted that there seemed to be no professional photographers in the house & he suggested that the audience feel free to take pictures. Sure enough, the crowd whipped out their phones & started clicking. The first song was Strange Overtones, the hypnotic single off the newest Eno/Byrne collaboration- Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The Schnitz's reverberating walls were an incredibly jarring transition from punchy studio sound of the original. Things only went up from there, as the 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, such as dancing with office chairs during the working man anthem- Life Is Long. The entire band, singers (including my friend Redray Frazier, who is from Portland) & dancers were dressed in all white. The choreography was better than any modern dance concert I have attended. Our seats in the first balcony gave us a perfect view of the movement. My eyes kept going back to to the extraordinary male dancer-Steven Recker, so hot, so cute, so talented, so charismatic! The singers danced, the dancers played instruments & at times the entire band would dance. By the time they played Once In A Lifetime the entire audience was on their feet & dancing. For the second encore, an entire marching band in wedding attire came down the aisles & on to the stage where they stripped to silver go-go pants while playing & dancing to Take Me To The River & Burning Down The House!
What a great birthday present... I am such a thoughtful husband.