Show Review & Photos: David Byrne w/Benjamin Clementine @ the Paramount

David Byrne w/ Benjamin Clementine @ the Paramount – 5/24/18
Show Review & Photos by Peter Dervin


David Byrne

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, has made a career of bringing different types of music to the masses. Byrne is currently on tour to support his latest album, American Utopia, and the sold-out Paramount Theatre was enthralled by this performance.

Opening the evening was London-based musician Benjamin Clementine, who sang from his piano and held the audience in complete fascination. His music was really quite captivating and moving. An American Flag -draped mannequin stood center stage, and you had a sense that the music symbolized the current state of affairs, both nationally and globally. Clementine’s performance was fantastic and I will be looking forward to his next visit to Seattle.

As the theatre lights dimmed for the arrival of David Byrne, the stage was transformed into a giant space, no formal instrumental set up, just a table, a chair and an exposed brain as the centerpiece. As the lights were raised, there was David Byrne, sitting at the table with the brain in hand.

Byrne opened with a song entitled “Here,” from his new album “American Utopia” where “Here is many sounds for your brain to comprehend,” inviting us to “Here the sound, it’s organized into things that make some sense.”

From there, the band began to appear from the shadows of the curtains that made up the walls of the open space; each musician had instruments in hand, in marching band fashion and as the band kicked into the song “Lazy” from Grown Backwards, the tempo of the evening picked up with their synchronized dance movements and playing.

“I Zimbra,” from Talking Heads album Fear Of Music exploded with the rhythmic beats and fusion, then right into “Slippery People” from Speaking In Tongues. . .WOW, everyone was out of their seats and groovin’ to the tunes. Throughout the evening David Byrne played a variety of Talking Heads favorites from the Remain In Light album, such as “Once In A Lifetime” and “Born Under Punches.”. Also some songs from Speaking in Tongues, including “ “This Must Be The Place (Native Melody)’ and “Burning Down The House.”

In between the Talking Heads tunes, Byrne inserted a wide selection of songs from his assorted collaborations like “I Should Watch TV” from his album Love This Giant with St. Vincent, and “Toe Jam” with The BPA (that was also one of the greatest videos ever!).

The evening closed out with encores from Byrne’s recent theater production of Here Lies Love, with the song “Dancing Together” (which was performed by the late Sharon Jones on the album) and my all-time favorite Talking Heads tune, “The Great Curve,” with its pulsating world beats and sonic explosiveness.

I have been very fortunate over the years to catch David Byrne at different stages of his musical journey. In the past few years, his interest in civic action has been at the forefront. During the course of the evening he brought attention to the folks who were registering voters, as he emphasized the importance of participating in local elections. Striving to build upon our American Utopia.


David Byrne


Benjamin Clementine


David Byrne

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Photos: Cat Pierce @ Sunset Tavern

Cat Pierce, formerly of The Pierces, headlined at the Sunset Tavern. The show was one of the last stops on her tour with Swimsuit Issue and was also her first solo tour. The LA-based singer-songwriter was on the road in support of her latest single, ”Sometimes You Lose.” Look for her upcoming album due later this year.


Cat Pierce

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Photos: Talib Kweli, Styles P & K’Valentine @ the Showbox

Talib Kweli, Styles P & K’Valentine @ the Showbox – 1/24/17
Photos by Casey Brevig
Memory Lane Series – part 35


Talib Kwali


Styles P

The beginning of 2017 found Talib Kweli looking forward to sharing new works: his own ’17 album, Radio Silence, and the EP The Seven, with rapper Styles P. But first, he kicked off the year with the Seven Tour, which featured Styles P and hip hop artist K’Valentine (on Kweli’s label, Javotti Media). After you check out these photos, head over to Billboard, who has a great interview with Kweli and Styles P about their collaboration.


K’Valentine


Talib Kweli


Styles P


K’Valentine


Styles P

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Photos: Savannah Conley @ Tractor Tavern

Singer-songwriter Savannah Conley and her band played at the Tractor Tavern in support of her new EP, Twenty-Twenty. On the road with Brent Cobb, the show was near the end of a 40-city tour. Another week and they’ll be headed home to Nashville. Rolling Stone featured Savannah in their 10 New Country Artists You Need To Know in March. We took a few minutes before her set to do some photos outside the venue.


Savannah Conley

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Show Review & Photos: Taylor Swift @ CenturyLink Field

Taylor Swift @ CenturyLink Field – Tuesday, May 22nd
Review & Photos by Dagmar


Taylor Swift & Dancers

Taylor Swift started her Seattle date on Tuesday evening with “. . .Ready for It?,” a perfectly chosen track to introduce us to a powerful arena performance for the ages. Let the games begin, indeed!

Of course Swift was the performer everyone came to see, but she shared the stage with a superb squad of dancers and band of musicians. Designers made creative and stunning stage use, switching themes and lights; these artists deserve major compliments for a nearly Transformers-like stage design technique.


Taylor Swift

Now, Swift is a mighty star. That she writes genius songs on her own as a cowriter is fortunate enough. But she’s also an accomplished stage performer, one who has the ability to make this pop/rock star gig one she can do forever, should she choose to (hey, I want that!). A seductive presence, after all, there were 56,000 fans who came out on a school/work night to enjoy a Taylor Swift concert. Her music relates to us. We relate to the songs. This was actually a feeling I got on my arms: I got goosebumps during “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day,” which she introduced by talking about how she feels as if we all grew up together. Whether you grew up with Swift’s albums, or mark her releases along with times of your lives, or if you just heard a Swift song and are all in, if you’re fan, you understand her songs. It was awesomely sweet when Swift reflected on her appreciation of fans, no matter how long they’ve loved her music. She also mentioned an adorable Seattle link about one of her cats, who’s named Meredith Grey after the character from Seattle-based TV show, Grey’s Anatomy.


Taylor Swift

When the giant stage snakes made it out into the audience, my jaw dropped. I honestly think it was marvelous. And the setlist offered seamless flows of songs; many from her most recent and excellent albums, Reputation and 1989. Opener Charli XCX popped out to sing along during “Shake It Off,” while “Don’t Blame Me” and “Dress” were also slinky highlights. I also adored “Blank Space,” and that fabulous showstopper, a mashup of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”/”This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” I missed “Look What You Made Me Do” because of venue camera policies (cameras had to be taken off premises), but I am certain I would have loved that (hint: the snakes!!). I’m not complaining, just excusing what I think would be a bizarre omission in any review. “Getaway Car” filled the arena, and giant screens in the middle and on both sides of the stage let us see closer up, giving us great views of Swift’s expressions and outfits. Every audience received a bracelet, which was programmed to change colors along with the songs. This was the first time I’d been at a show with this brilliant touch. Via the lights, Swift told us she could see all of us. And we loved to see Swift!


Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift Fans & Stage

More Photos of Taylor Swift @ CenturyLink Field

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