David Byrne and St Vincent at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall were both amazing and boring.
When it was good it was good and when it was bad .. well ..
Before the concert, having looked at the setlist for the previous gigs and realised that David was only playing a few of his own or Talking Heads songs and largely the collaboration with Saint Vincent, we started to think is it worth it?
Should we give it a miss?
But the tickets were quite expensive at £45 and what the hell a few Talking Heads songs live would make the night, any joy from anything else would be a bonus.
Once in a Lifetime .. we thought.
The gig opened with 4 or 5 songs from the new album and have to say these were fantastic both acoustically and visually, the 7 piece brand secion moving position and stepping round the stage with the music was mesmeric.
Or expectations had already been beaten and I will buy the album based on those opening few songs.
David’s vocals were as strong, if not stronger than they ever were, defintely better.
In fact, he looked well, white hair, tanned and healthy .. good for him, its great to see these heroes of yesterday looking after themselves and not being ravaged by time despite whatever excesses they may or may not have endured.
His dancing was as captivating as ever, mesmerising and it was hard not to take our eyes of him as he moved within the band around the stage.
The first Talking Heads song This Must Be The Place ( Naive Melody ) was greeted with a huge cheer by the audience in the full concert hall.
I dare say, it was a breathe of fresh air as bullshit aside, thats what most people had come to see.
The other TH songs were cleverly ( manipulatively?) interespersed, between the StV songs and the DH/StV collaboration, which at times was interesting. However the songs which StV did on her own were somewhat depressing. She is vocally strong and there is no doubt that she has talent but she does like the sound of her own voice and she did drone on a bit.
Her songs themselves are depressing, moody, introvert and self indulgent. I got over all that angst and self analysis a long time ago and frankly so should she.
The brass section were fantastic all the way through and made things interesting at all times. David was quite magnanimous in sharing the stage and during the TH song Wild Wild Life the brass guys took turns to rotate to the mike and sing the line, something like the video from the 80s, you could tell that they were having great fun and so were we!
The gig closed with 2 encores each containing 2 songs, the first in each case a Saint Vincent song which quite frankly KILLED the mood.
The second wer Talking Heads songs, wonderful renditions of Burning Down The House and Road To Nowhere which had the audience on their feet and the place going crazy.
I recorded BDTH on my phone and might upload it later, but have a look at the following from youtube.
Leaving the concert lazt night, people were smiling and happy, there was a buzz in the air..
I walked down Buchanan Street to Central Station with the Road To Nowhere stuck in my head then woke up singing it again this morning.
But my overwhelming feeling was, why did David Byrne need to collaborate at all?
For a longer more arty review read the skinny link below