Hollywood Reporter: The Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads: Concert Review

04/24/2015
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http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/music-david-byrne-talking-heads-784029

The former Talking Heads frontman makes a surprise appearance at this all-star tribute show encompassing songs from his wide-ranging career

The titles of several David Byrne songs could well form a mini-review of the 11th annual tribute concert produced by Michael Dorf presented Monday night at Carnegie Hall. This "Once in a Lifetime" event  well succeeded in its goal of "Burning Down the House." Featuring the honoree himself at the finale, The Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads was a typically sterling edition of this concert series benefiting music education for underprivileged youth. The show garnered some $100,000 for such worthy organizations as the Center for Arts Education, the Church Street School of Music and Little Kids Rock.

The fine results of such largesse were demonstrated by the lead-off performers, a group of youngsters from Little Kids Rock who performed an exuberant rendition of "Stay Up Late," it's female lead singer introducing it by announcing, "It's a school night, but we're gonna stay up late."

The two-and-a-half hour show featured the usual dizzyingly versatile array of artists performing both familiar and relatively obscure songs from Byrne's seminal group and solo career, as well as their hit cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River," here sung by CeeLo Green.

Byrne's frequent use of worldbeat rhythms was expertly handled by the concert's house band, Brooklyn's Antibalas, whose large horn and rhythm sections gave the evening a propulsive quality that rarely lagged.

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