Tuesday night, Fuzzy and I saw David Byrne and St Vincent in concert at the Chicago Theatre. I'd been waiting for this day for months, and it was finally here! The album came out last week, and I've been listening to it almost nonstop.
Let's step back for a second.
I've been a fan of Annie Clark/ St. Vincent's for a while. I have all 3 of her albums, and we even saw her accidentally, and excitedly 3 years ago in Indiana. (If you don't remember the story, or you don't want to click on that link, I teared up when we saw she was opening for Andrew Bird, and later she wrote such things on my ticket stub, captured with a blurry photo here.
I love her. I think she is the coolest.
And David Byrne. What can you even say? A genius, for sure, and the creator of some of the best music ever, both solo and with Talking Heads. I mean, this song alone, right? And this? Come on! Classic!
Fuzzy for a long time has been wanting me to watch True Stories. Because of our schedule and rigorous competition reality TV obsession, we rarely watch movies. So the other night, I decided we should pop it in.
And Oh. My. God. It was my perfect movie. Written and Directed by David Byrne (and co written by Beth Henley--I knew her parents!), it was the perfect mix of weird and quirky that I love. It was all character driven, and it had almost no plot, so you know it was right up my alley. It was as if David Lynch wrote a movie that Jim Jarmusch directed, and that movie was Waiting for Guffman. See what I mean? A dream for me!
But I digress.
We entered the theatre, and the stage was set with a lot of brass instruments with spotlights on them, and there were bird chirps amplified over the speakers. Love it. I realized while waiting for the show to start, that I was the target demographic for the show. It was made for me and my people (which if you are reading this, you are most likely included in.) We had great seats, and I was noting that with 15 minutes before the show started, the audience was barely half full. I think that opening bands and the modern show structure have trained people to be late all the time for concerts and theatre, so the audience mostly filled up after it had started, which means that they missed some of the show--there was no opener. And they performed the album in order, so all those late-os missed Who.
Since they just have the one album together, they did a neat structure that went like so: 2 songs from Love this Giant, 1 St. Vincent song, 1 David Byrne song, 1 song from LTG, 1 SV song, 1 DB song, and so on and so forth. Everyone (the 8 wind instrumentalists, the drummer, the keyboarder, and D Byrne and A Clark) performed on all of the songs. It was awesome. The brass band was amazing and there was this wall of music that just swept me away. I do feel like the solo songs sort of broke the momentum of the album songs, but that is ok, cause the album songs were so powerful and entertaining that it didn't take away from their power.
Perhaps the best part of the show for me, was that EVERYTHING was choreographed. Each song had specific placements and movements for the band, taking up the whole stage, and it was mesmerizing. Everything was so deliberate and placed just so. DB and AC did weird arm and hand movements for most of the songs, and I love love loved it. Y'all know I love me some choreography and I love me some weird, so the show was truly visual art. David Byrne had a headset on, so he moved around as a part of the choreo the whole time, too, including laying on the floor with the band during St. Vincent's Cheerleader. It was awesome.
Also exciting was that David Byrne performed 3 Talking Heads songs, which I have to admit was pretty amazing. They did Naive Melody, Burning Down the House and the show ended with Road to Nowhere, and each one brought down the house.
I think my favorite moment of the night, however, was the haunting, lilting and gorgeous version of The Party that they performed. It gives me chills thinking about it. I was too wrapped up to get a photo, but this one is from Road to Nowhere:
It's always a special moment to see an icon, and when they are paired with another of your favorite performers, it is even better! It was certainly a show that I am glad I didn't miss.