David Byrne is no stranger to collaboration, but last weekend’s Radio City extravaganza left us feeling like we had not only witnessed, but taken part in, some kind of ridiculous orgy of talent, with props like office chairs and toy guitars to boot. It wasn’t exactly CBGB’s, but it wasn’t the Varvatos store either. While New York has changed, Byrne, unlike so many of his contemporaries, manages to roll with the times and steer clear of corny (even during the ’90′s!).
Dressed in celestial white garments and floating around the stage like modern-day apostles, Byrne’s backup band almost stole the show. With people like Kaïssa, a Cameroonian singer whom Byrne met at the latest BAM retrospective, and the left-field keyboardist Mark Degliantoni (formerly of Soul Coughing), it seemed like Byrne had enlisted all of his friends to hop on the crazy train and take it around the world: The Rockettes’ linedancing to “Life During Wartime” or Byrne “Burning Down The House” in a tutu battling for craziest moment. Sure, it’s all a big show and we could’ve used more solo DB, but who can complain when an elegantly-suspendered man makes such an effort to take your mind of troubled times.