Chris Meyer

This past Saturday evening at Williamsburg Park, in what was the last of three NYC-area shows, the legendary David Byrne and indie-darling St. Vincent burned down the house (though there wasn’t much of a roof under the night’s sky). Touring in support of their album Love This Giant, the duo played tracks from their album, as well as some choice cuts from their own repertoires.

To hear David Byrne/Talking Heads songs reworked with a horn section was nothing short of delightful. A beautiful rendition of “This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)” had those in attendance gently swaying back and forth while singing along. Having listened to Love This Giant several times, and rather enjoying it, the songs take on a whole new life in a live setting. Songs like “I Am an Ape”, “Lazarus”, “The Forest Awakes”, and “The One Who Broke Your Heart” – which were all co-written by the duo – were that much better on stage, with both artists and the horn section moving around on stage like choreographed chess pieces.

When watching the two, Byrne’s natural artistic flair paired with St. Vincent’s robotic gyrations (as well as being quite an accomplished guitar player) compliment each other better than one might initially expect. The two were practically gushing over each other on stage, with obvious admiration for what the other brings to the table. The X-Press 2 and David Byrne number “Lazy” was particularly awesome, as everyone in the crowd couldn’t help but get down to this dance-pop number. The St. Vincent number “Northern Lights” was quite epic sounding, with the horn section providing extra “oomph” to the song, while the Theremin battle between Byrne and St. Vincent was mesmerizing to watch.

After two encores, the night concluded with the Talking Heads classic “Road to Nowhere”, which saw Byrne and St. Vincent slowly trail off stage behind the rest of the band. While the elated crowd could have kept on going, the 22-song set was more than enough to fulfill our needs on this beautiful fall evening in Brooklyn and properly send us off to drink a few locally-brewed pints, just like humans do.

David Byrne & St. Vincent at Williamsburg Park – 9/29/12 Setlist:

Weekend in the Dust
Save Me From What I Want (St. Vincent song)
Strange Overtones (David Byrne & Brian Eno song)
I am an Ape”
Marrow (St. Vincent song)
This Must Be The Place (Talking Heads song)
The Forest Awakes
Ice Age
Like Humans Do (David Byrne song)
Cheerleader (St. Vincent song)
Lazy (David Byrne & X-Press 2 song)
I Should Watch TV
Northern Lights (St. Vincent song)
The One Who Broke Your Heart
Outside of Space and Time
Cruel (St. Vincent song)
Burning Down the House (Talking Heads song)
Second Encore
The Party (St. Vincent song)
Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads song)

Videos From the Beacon Theater show by Sunil Suman:

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