We’ve Never Seen Anything Quite Like David Byrne’s Extraordinary Performance On Colbert

We’ve been talking a lot about David Byrne lately, and for that we offer no apologies whatsoever. This is a Rock website after all, and David Byrne is arguably the most influential post-Sixties Rocker of them all, so as far as we’re concerned you can’t say enough about him and his work. He has spent a lot of time out of the public eye over the past 40 years, so the fact that he is very visible these days promoting his new album gives us the welcome opportunity to appreciate his brilliance anew.

His performance of “Everybody’s Coming to My House” on Colbert the other night was as extraordinary as one could expect from an artist of his stature. Hands up anyone who’s ever seen a Rock performance beginning with 12 musicians standing in three rows of four, all wearing the same gray suit and bare feet, with their instruments strapped over their shoulders, no amps, no mike stands. I don’t see any hands. I’ve never seen it either.

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The band – four percussionists, two drummers, two backing vocalists, a guitar, bass, keyboard and Byrne – made their way over to Colbert’s desk mid-song to form a little tableau while Byrne held court in front. Then they marched in a line through the theater, an old trick made famous by New Orleans jazz bands over the years, and then, after a scorching solo by the guitarist, the band ended up in another little performance art tableau sitting around a kitchen table.

It’s a really good song, so typically David Byrne in content, but it was a truly brilliant performance that had me shaking my head in amazement. Who else could have pulled this off, or would have wanted to?

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