On Thursday night in Manhattan, Talking Heads cover band Start Making Sense took their talent out to sea. The Rocks Off Concert Cruise provided the perfect party vessel for the evening as strangers became friends on the 300-person capacity excursion.
Keeping in line with the infamous 1984 Stop Making Sense concert film, Start Making Sense opened with “Psycho Killer.” As the ship set sail, “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel” and “Slippery People” got the crowd dancing and the boat rocking. Rumors of thunderstorms and torrential rain in the forecast may have created anxiety for certain ship captains, but our driver seemed as cool as cucumber as the crowd showed off their moves during “Making Flippy Floopy.” The Phish hats in the room began bobbing when the band launched into “The Great Curve” off the iconic Remain In Light album.
Lead singer and David Byrne look-alike, Jon Braun, mentioned that they hadn’t played “I Get Wild/ Wild Gravity” in about a year but due to the aquatic theme and wild party, they dusted it off for the passengers. Another Remain In Light masterpiece, “Born Under Punches” was blasted just as the boat passed under the Manhattan Bridge which lead to “Cities” being played under the Brooklyn Bridge. New York City is the place that most of the audience had found themselves living in and “Naïve Melody (This Must Be The Place)” reminded us that home is where we wanted to be as the vessel sailed around the Statue of Liberty.
As the first set came to a close, the Talking Heads fans young and old tried to piece together what the band could possibly have to offer in the second set. Classics like “Nothing But Flowers,” “Once In A Lifetime,” and “Burning Down the House” kept the lower level of the party bouncing while the upper deck spun and swirled with a beautiful view of lower Manhattan. The aptly placed “Take Me To The River” played as the ship got closer to its final resting place for the evening, but not before “Crosseyed and Painless” came as the third song of the evening from Remain In Light.
Cover bands like Start Making Sense give a new generation of fans a chance to see the incredible music of yesteryear played live. Cell phone apps like Sound Hound and Shazam provide services to identify music based on a short sample of sound and would be easily confused by the talent and dedication that Start Making Sense has in relation to their idols, the Talking Heads. The Rocks Off Cruise aligned perfectly with the excellent band creating an evening of true bliss that fans will remember until the next ship sets sail.
Setlist: Start Making Sense | Rocks Off | NYC | 7/13/17
I: Psycho Killer, Thank You For Sending Me An Angel, Slippery People, And She Was, Making Flippy Floppy, Don’t Worry About the Government, The Great Curve, Stay Up Late, I Get Wild/ Wild Gravity, Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Cities, Life During Wartime, What A Day That Was, Naïve Melody (This Must Be The Place)
II: Heaven, Like Humans Do, Road To Nowhere, Nothing But Flowers, Once In A Lifetime, Burning Down The House, Girlfriend Is Better, Take Me To The River, Crosseyed and Painless
[photo via @willgarris on Instagram]