David Byrne Is Promising His Most Ambitious Show Since Talking Heads’ ‘Stop Making Sense’ On His New Tour

David Byrne is hitting the road for his first solo tour in almost nine years next year, and from the way he tells it, it’s not a show that you’re going to want to miss. So far, the run is a small one, limited to just six East Coast shows through the U.S., but if things go well, it’s totally plausible that the Talking Heads frontman adds a few more dates to the calendar. In a note shared with Brooklyn Vegan, Byrne made his vision for the performance clear, calling this, “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense, so fingers crossed.”

“Some months ago I went to Clair Bothers in Manheim, PA to test out tech for some new live shows. I had an idea that everyone in the band might be mobile… so there would be no risers, drum platform or any of that stuff. I’d experienced a taste of this on the tour I did with St. Vincent, where all the brass players were mobile.

With everyone mobile, I realized the stage could be completely clear. If we could have the monitors in our ears, the amps off-stage and the lights up high, then we had the possibility of a completely empty space.

The problem was that there are always a lot of people and gear around the periphery of a music show—amps, monitor mixers, stage hands looking bored, road cases, etc., which would be completely distracting—how to hide that stuff? A curtain or drape obviously, but as I might be doing outdoor venues then there arose the issue of wind and drapes or curtains. A relatively light wind can play havoc with cloth, and if you try and anchor it, you end up having made yourself a very large sail—big enough to pull down the entire rig.

In Vegas and some other places, lightweight chains have been used instead of curtains… so we looked at a sample. It seemed promising, so we tested it at scale, to see if it took light (it seemed possible that the light might go right through) and to make sure it didn’t interfere with the wireless transmissions—or the whole mobile idea would be impossible.

It worked. It takes color beautifully.

Not only does it take color, one can cast shadows on the chain.

The band and I will be testing all of this in front of a live audience during a small number of shows in the beginning of March. We’ll be doing some new songs… and many others that will, I assume, be familiar. I’m excited. This is the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense, so fingers crossed.”

Check out the dates for David Byrnes upcoming tour below. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 15.

03/03 — Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre
03/04 — Wilkes Barre, PA @ F.M. Kirby Center
03/06 — Buffalo, NY @ University at Buffalo Center for the Arts
03/07 — Hershey, PA @ Hershey Theatre
03/09 — Waterbury, CT @ Palace Theater
03/10 — Kingston, NY @ UPAC (Ulster Performing Arts Center)
4/14 — Indio, CA Coachella
4/15 — Tucson, AZ Centennial Hall
4/17 — San Diego, CA San Diego Civic Theater
4/18 — Las Vegas, NV Smith Center for the Arts
4/19 — Mesa, AZ Mesa Arts Center-Ikeda Theater
4/21 — Indio, CA Coachella
4/24 — Dallas, TX Winspear Opera House
4/25 — Oklahoma City, OK The Criterion
4/27 — San Antonio, TX Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
4/28 — Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall Outside Lawn
5/4 & 5/6 Atlanta, GA Shaky Knees
5/6 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
5/8 — Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Civic Auditorium
5/9 — Charlotte, NC @ Ovens Auditorium
5/10 — Durham, NC @ Durham PAC
5/12 — Washington, DC @ The Anthem
5/13 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Benedum Center for the Arts
5/15 — Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater
5/16 — Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theater
5/17 — Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theater
5/19 — Saskatoon, SK @ TCU Place
5/20 — Edmonton, AB @ Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
5/21 — Calgary, AB @ Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
5/23 — Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth Theater
5/24 — Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater
5/27 — Portland, OR @ Keller Audiorium
5/28 — Eugene, OR @ Hult Center
5/30 — Salt Lake City, UT @ Capitol Theatre
6/2 — Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theater
6/5 — Des Moines, IA @ Des Moines Civic Center
6/7 — Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Center for the Arts
6/8 — St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House
6/9 — Indianapolis, IN @ Farmers Bureau Lawn Amphitheater
7/27 — Camden, NJ @ XPoNential Music Festival
7/31 — Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
8/1 — Shelburne, VT @ Shelburne Museum – The Green
8/3 — Toronto, ON @ Sony Center for the Performing Arts
8/5 — Canandaigua, NY @ Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
8/8 — Grand Rapids, MI @ Devos Performance Hall
8/10 — Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
8/11 — Huber Heightes, OH @ Rose Music Center
8/12 — Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend
8/16 — Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
8/18 — San Jose, CA @ City National Civic Auditorium
8/21 — Sacramento, CA @ Community Theater
8/24 — Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
8/28 — Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheater