Concert Recommendation: David Byrne with Poi Dog Pondering, Navy Pier Skyline Stage, June 17 and 21
David Byrne played Chicago on September 14, 2001. Let me rephrase this
to highlight its significance: David Byrne played Chicago three days
after 9/11 (a date so indelible it requires no year.) He and his large
backing band boarded a bus to make sure the show happened, a ray of
hope shining all the way from New York. PJ Harvey had played the same
venue the night before and definitely rocked harder, but Byrne was
cooler. The whole band was musically tight, but they also had a lot of
At one point, former Talking Head introduced a song merely by saying it
was hugely inappropriate in light of recent tragic events. Murmurs
quickly went through the crowd: take your pick: "Psycho Killer, "
"Burning Down the House" or "Life During Wartime." Who knew so many
Talking Heads songs could suddenly take on such import based on a
single incident? For what it's worth, "Life" was the inappropriate song
he had in mind.
That Poi Dog Pondering are opening is particularly appropriate.
Although they've never aped the Talking Heads' sound, they have drawn
percussion inspiration from the same sources.
David Byrne plays the Navy Pier
Skyline Stage with Poi Dog Pondering at 7:30 p.m. on
Thursday, June 17 and Monday, June 21.