David Byrne. Arguably the highlight of Umbria Jazz 2018. Fantastic!!!! ! #umbriajazz2018 #umbriajazz #uj18 #perugia #davidbyrne #####from an earlier show this year: ———————————————————————-Why aren’t they bringing any equipment onstage—amps or drums or even cords? I wondered as the minutes between sets ticked by. A few moments later the house lights dimmed and I got my answer: because David Byrne doesn’t need any of that. All he requires is his vision, and it’s absolute.
Byrne and his 11 musicians performed in the musical equivalent of a scientific clean room, entirely devoid of objects beyond those 12 humans and their instruments, which—from drums to keyboards—were strapped to their bodies. Most of them, Byrne included, played barefoot, pacing or dancing around the open space in choreographed series of movements. A curtain of glowing beads encircled their zone of activity, cycling colors to bolster the songs’ varying vibes.
Byrne chose a sequence that made use of his staging, his rhythmically oriented band and his appreciably strong voice. Seven cuts came from March album American Utopia, including single “Everybody’s Coming to My House” and leadoff track “I Dance Like That,” the latter of which opened with Byrne and his mates lying on the floor as if dead and ended with a silent dance routine beneath strobing lights.