David Byrne, former front man of the legendary Talking Heads, performed his American Utopia show on Broadway from October 2019 to February 2020. Back then, theaters were still free to fill every seat. Each night of this weeks-long run, 961 audience members packed into the Hudson Theater to see this truly exceptional songwriter and storyteller.
Performing in a stripped-back stage set, the singer and his international collection of musicians effortlessly intertwine ageless Talking Heads songs with new work. Spike Lee applies the “form follows content” principle as he fluidly interprets the movements of Byrne and his musicians for this spellbinding concert film.
Byrne sings, talks, and even dances, as he shares his vision on humanity and looks to connect. One of the highlights sees a beautiful merging of Lee the activist and Byrne the humanist: the powerful cover of Janelle Monáe’s protest song “Hell You Talmbout,” featuring the chanting of the names of Black people who lost their lives through racist violence.