David Byrne, Broadway, Talking Heads, American Utopia, Music News, News

Watch David Byrne Perform Talking Heads Hits at First ‘American Utopia: Unchained’ Show

As they say, "the show must go on." Despite crew complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, David Byrne brought a reworked version of American Utopia to Broadway on Tuesday night (December 28). The reworking features a completely new setlist and modified stage show.

The original show's second run in Manhattan began earlier this year, but was forced to cancel dates recently with company members testing positive for COVID-19. However, Byrne announced he would create a modified version of American Utopia for its return.

NME reports that in a Facebook video, Byrne said that “rather than us cancelling our shows, we’re looking at this as a kind of opportunity to, well, honor our commitment to the audiences who are coming in the coming weeks and creating something special.”

Byrne went on to describe American Utopia: Unchained as "something unlike anything we’ve done before." The "unchained" version of the Broadway show will play for a full week, then the normal version of American Utopia will resume.

The setlist for the first night of American Utopia: Unchained featured Talking Heads classics "Life During Wartime," "Heaven," "(Nothing but) Flowers," and "And She Was." Byrne also sprinkled in some of his own solo songs, including "Everyone’s In Love With You" and "Marching Through Wilderness," as well as collaborations with Brian Eno like "My Big Nurse," "Life Is Long," and "Strange Overtones." Regular American Utopia tracks like "Road To Nowhere" were given stripped back reworkings.

Speaking about the reworked show, Byrne said, “We’re having a great time learning this stuff and a lot of fun doing it. It’s gonna be amazing. I’m excited about it. I think it shows that we can adapt and persevere.”

American Utopia runs until April 2022 and is held at the St. James Theatre. You can buy tickets here.

See performance footage from American Utopia: Unchained below.

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Article Image: David Byrne performs with his band during the 2018 Rock Werchter Festival. The same costumes and a similar backdrop are used in "American Utopia." (benhoudijk via DepositPhotos.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey