Film Reviews

David Byrne: Ride Rise Roar

David Byrne
Ride Rise Roar

(Eagle Rock)

“I thought it’d be nice to do something unexpected that also makes it a little more of a show… One way would be with dancers and movement.” So says David Byrne in the opening of his new concert movie Ride Rise Roar. The ex-Talking Head seems to forget he already executed such an idea with Stop Making Sense 25 years ago, but it’s easy for any fan to also forget when watching his new DVD.

Culled from his 08/09 tour, the 14-song setlist draws five tracks from his recent Everything That Happens Will Happen Today reunion with Brian Eno and nine choice cuts of classic Talking Heads. With no live CD tie-in, Ride Rise Roar hypnotizes and mesmerizes with its visuals. Lights ricochet off the performers’ all white uniforms like paint onto a Pollock painting, and while dance was an immutable element of Stop Making Sense, here it plays a role more poetic and poignant. Byrne and the dancers play out a meditation on the daily nine to five grind with “Life is Long,” sizzle with acid-fried a-go-go in “I Feel My Stuff” and still get in a familiar run for “Life During Wartime.” A new treat for the eyes and an old comfort for the ears.

—Luke Dennis

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