One sympathizes with the task saddled onto the good folks running the benefit concert/career-spanning tribute to New York institution David Byrne. That job must have been, to invoke the old saw, the rough equivalent of herding cats. Nineteen separate acts? Each to perform a single number? I mean, Jesus.
|Jason Speakman for the Village Voice|
|David Byrne takes the stage at Carnegie Hall for The Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads, 3/23/15.|
Yes, one sympathizes, and one can understand and let slide the consequent aura of general slap-dashedness. Witness, for example, the emcee's efforts to tie the whole thing together, her disembodied locutions more than a little reminiscent of Troy McClure (You might remember this next singer-songwriter from such collaborations as...). And that was when she bothered to introduce the next-up at all! Or consider how, with a handful of exceptions, the stage-lighting stayed the same throughout, at a level about four turns of the dimmer-switch too far for a rock show, even during the abeyant silences between songs, when audience members were treated to the sight of big-name musicians wandering onstage, plugging distractedly in, flicking on amps, and, presumably, wondering where the hell the roadies were. You kinda got the sense that everyone signed on for this a long time ago, then forgot about it till maybe the weekend of. All of which is, to be fair, merely so much bitching. After all, evoking a small-town talent show ain't half bad when the talent you've got includes the Roots, Glen Hansard, Sharon Jones, and CeeLo. Oh, and Steve Earle and one-half of Sleigh Bells and Billy Goddamn Gibbons from ZZ Top.More »