David Byrne And St. Vincent At The Ryman Auditorium

Videos by American Songwriter

Annie “St. Vincent” Clark showed Nashville she can dance with the best of them (and by best, we mean David Byrne) Tuesday night when she and Byrne conquered the Ryman.

If you think St. Vincent and David Byrne sounds like a weird pairing, you’re right.

Everything about the show was strange, from the syncopated steps of the eight-piece horn section to the spooky shadows projected on the wall.

This odd brand of musical theater is nothing new for Byrne, he’s been doing it since the eighties. What’s surprising is how well Clark has taken to her new role. Her signature robotic tip-toeing and strange hand gestures were as awe inspiring as Byrne‘s, and what a feat, to share a stage with the former Talking Heads frontman and still command so much of the audience’s attention.

The music was as great as you would expect, and featured tracks from the duo’s recent album, Love This Giant, as well as cuts from both artists’ catalogs. And while the high points of the show were when Byrne broke out Talking Heads tunes “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody),” “Burning Down the House,” and “Road To Nowhere,” the new tracks sounded surprisingly mature alongside the classics.

Byrne was jolly all night, cracking jokes and grinning like a madman. At one point he and Clark introduced their 10-piece band, and Byrne went on for several minutes talking about all of the side projects the band members were in, and urging audience members to “help bring back the economy: buy some records.”

If there were any complaint to be made about the show, it was that some of Byrne’s tunes were hard to hear over the frenzied crowd, but people didn’t seem to mind too much.

And by the end of the show the Nashville audience proved that they too could dance with the best of them.

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