Watch David Byrne Lead An Unusual But Moving Bowie Tribute



David Bowie died just over two years ago but his memory is in no danger of fading from public consciousness anytime soon, thanks to other Rockers regularly paying tribute, covering his songs and otherwise keeping his music alive. “Heroes” is one the Bowie tracks that gets covered the most since it is arguably his biggest and most important song, and it also doesn’t hurt that it is one of the easier Bowie songs to cover.

Last year alone we saw at least two more notable “Heroes” covers, one by Depeche Mode and another by Motorhead, and they are both excellent because for one thing, it’s difficult to screw up such a great, deceptively simple song. You’d really have to suck badly to wreck it. Also, the song’s message of standing bravely for your principles may even resonate more today than it did 35 years ago. It feels like at some point in the future every Rock band in existence will have covered it.

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Well here’s another one that dropped this week and it’s a little different from all the others, something akin to a crowd-sourced flash mob cover. David Byrne takes the lead vocals while the backing vocals are supplied by Choir! Choir! Choir!, a Toronto-based vocal ensemble that includes hundreds of voices brought together through open participation. It’s like an amorphous, hybrid body, half-performer and half-audience.

For this particular performance it was said that Choir! Choir! Choir! practiced their parts for just one hour before the show, which is quite amazing since it is pretty flawless. But I found it all quite moving – this beautiful song sung by Byrne, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, and backed up by a roomful of (mostly white) people of all shapes and ages and backgrounds. When the performer and the audience are as one, then I suppose the whole world’s a stage, and it looks like David Bowie can still command it from afar.

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