David Byrne fans are in for a treat next year as he mounts a solo tour that he is comparing to a classic Talking Heads trek.
Byrne explained his concept:
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.
Byrne is also in the midst of recording a new album.
03/03 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre
03/04 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – F.M. Kirby Center For The Performing Art
03/06 – Buffalo, NY – Center For The Arts
03/07 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Theatre
03/09 – Waterbury, CT – Palace Theater
03/10 – Kingston, NY – Ulster Performing Arts Center
03/16 – Santiago, Chile – Lollapalooza Chile
03/18 – Buenos Aires, AR – Lollapalooza Argentina
06/25 – Zagreb, Croatia – Inmusic Festival
07/06 – Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Festival