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02 November 2021

David Byrne Performs On ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’

David Byrne American Utopia
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David Byrne has made an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, performing the Talking Heads classic I Zimbra (originally on the 1979 album, Fear Of Music) and teaching the chat show host some typically off-kilter dance moves.

Byrne was promoting the latest run of his much-loved show American Utopia, which returned last month at the St James Theatre in New York. Byrne and the American Utopia cast had previously appeared on the show back in 2018, a performance which Byrne revealed had caught the attention of Broadway producers, after which the show moved from touring the world’s music venues to a long-term move to Broadway.

Byrne’s performance of I Zimbra was introduced by the singer revealing the genesis of the song’s lyric, crediting producer Brian Eno for suggesting he adapt a poem by Dadaist Hugo Ball.

During Byrne’s interview, Colbert revealed he had injured his back, asking the singer: “You’re famous for your nontraditional dance moves. I’m curious if you have any recommendations for someone who cannot move their arms very much and whose head and torso have to stay together when they move.” Unsurprisingly, Byrne had just the moves up his sleeve, demonstrating the “polish the plates” and “stop the traffic.”

The cast album accompanying the hugely successful show is available here, including songs from his 2018 album, American Utopia, along with music from Talking Heads and Byrne’s solo career. Byrne shares the spotlight with a diverse ensemble of eleven musical artists from around the globe for an event that delivers “an experience unlike anything else,” according to Billboard. Meanwhile, The New York Times described the show as “Dazzling, rapturous and jubilant”. “Astonishing,” raved the Hollywood Reporter, “A knockout celebration of music, dance and song. Pure bliss.” And Rolling Stone called it “a tonic for our tumultuous times.”

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