Byrne marks Palace with memorable evening

David Byrne
Louisville Palace
Louisville , Kentucky
October 21, 2008

The Louisville, Palace has been home to many of the greatest performers of all time, so it was a challenging place for David Byrne and his band to make their mark on October 21. To say he succeeded by the audience reaction would be a gross understatement.

Kicking into Talking Heads’ jams like "I Zimbra" from 1979’s Fear of Music and "Life During Wartime" are rare treats, but exactly what Byrne’s followers hope to hear at any of his concerts. What was unexpected was the indulgence Byrne lavished upon the masses with his live interpretations of the new album with Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Byrne’s backing unit was fine tuned at adapting challenging pieces like the title track and "My Big Nurse." The rhythm section of Mauro Refosco on percussion, Paul Frazier on bass, and Graham Hawthorne on drums added a lush, swelling, groove- oriented backdrop to charmers, "Strange Overtones" and "One Fine Day." Mark Deoli’s keyboard runs fleshed out Byrne’s raps on "I Feel My Stuff" and the Heads’ classic, "Once in a Lifetime."

But, it was David Byrne’s show under the big top, and the quirky front man swayed and danced manically while playing sizzling lead electric guitar on "Crosseyed and Painless" and "Heaven." A truly gifted singer/songwriter, Byrne’s inclusive delivery of "Take Me to the River" made the Palace’s patrons feel right at home.

By the time he encored with "The Great Curve," the entire building was awash in motion from the thundering vibration as Byrne’s ensemble shook the theater straight to the core on the song’s feverish final notes. It had Louisville all abuzz as they meandered out towards the bars on Fourth street, and that told the tale. David Byrne and co. had made their mark after all.