David Byrne & St. Vincent and dancing horn players who don't face the music/ Photo by Tony Nelson
Was the David Byrne & St. Vincent show ill-conceived or over-conceived?
Whatever the case, there was too much forced and pointless choreography at the group’s world premiere concert Saturday at the State, as explained in my review. But Byrne gave the staging careful thought to the point of having a run-through with McNally Smith College of Music students imitating the pros so he and the crew could see what the show looked like while sitting in the theater.
Of course, there was a color scheme for the show, too: All the male backup musicians in black, the sole woman in white; Byrne wore a white sport coat over black shirt and slacks (with white shoes) and St. Vincent was in a dark purple-and-black dress (with black shoes).
Even though the 12-person band didn’t have a bass player (tuba took the part), the sound was bottom-heavy and sludge-y, especially from my under-the-balcony seat on the main floor.
Here is the set list from Saturday, with much of the material drawn from the duo’s new “Love This Giant” collaboration:
Who/ Weekend in the Dust/ Save Me from What I Want (St. Vincent)/ Strange Overtones (Byrne w Eno)/ I Am an Ape/ Marrow (St. Vincent)/ This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) (Talking Heads)/ The Forest Awakes/ Optimist/ Like Humans Do (Byrne)/ Lightning/ Lazarus/ Cheerleader (St. Vincent)/ Lazy (Byrne)/ I Should Watch TV/ Northern Lights (St. Vincent)/ The One Who Broke Your Heart/ Outside of Space and Time/ ENCORES Cruel (St. Vincent)/ Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)/ The Party (St. Vincent) Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads)