Each legends in their own right, Adrian Belew and Jerry Harrison continue to team up on their “Remain in Light” Tour dates, bringing Talking Heads classics to California on a short run to wrap up 2023. For their stop in San Francisco, the quiet of Market Street on a Saturday night belied the fervor expressed by the packed house inside the walls of the Warfield.
X kicked off the night with a generous nearly-sixty minute set in front of a full house. Strolling onto stage with little fanfare, the band kicked off their set off with “Your Phone’s Off the Hook…” which quickly outed their fans in the audience who were more than happy to sing along. X’s set spanned the catalog from Los Angeles to Alphabetland but surprised with a few unreleased tracks (“Bitter End” and “Smoke & Fiction”) and the promise of a new album in 2024. As the clock approached 9 pm, the San Francisco crowd was clearly warmed up.
Choosing to focus on the music, Harrison took center stage flanked by Belew as the remainder of the 11 piece band took up every remaining inch of the Warfield stage. Jumping right in, the thumping bass wound up the crowd and perfectly queued up Adrian to take the lead on vocals for “Psycho Killer” from Speaking in Tongues as the entire room gleefully sang along with the “fa-fa-fa-fa’s,” leaving plenty of space for Adrian’s guitar wizardry to shine.
To anyone not sure what to expect out of the tour, two things became immediately clear: 1) in spite of the tour name, the setlist was going to span the Talking Heads classics (and then some), and 2) pulling off this catalog was going to be a team effort with vocal duties bouncing around the stage to various band members as the show progressed. Clearly polished and experienced with the material, the the entire band seemingly sailed through the night with little effort and maximum enjoyment.
It’s pretty impressive that a band that hasn’t released original material since 1988 and broke up in 1991, having only played once together since for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, can maintain this level of passion around their music. No doubt the fans will continue to pine for a true Talking Heads reunion!
- Psycho Killer
- Crosseyed and Painless
- Houses in Motion
- I Zimbra
- Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
- Rev It Up (Jerry Harrison song)
- Slippery People
- Thela Hun Ginjeet (King Crimson cover)
- Once in a Lifetime
- Life During Wartime
- Take Me to the River (Al Green cover)
- The Great Curve
Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew
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