Yumpin’ Yimminy! I got an urgent message from chasinvictoria recently touting an event that I would normally love to attend: TVLKING HEVDS keyboardist Jerry Harrison and guest guitarist Adrian Belew will soon be touring behind a show that will draw primarily from “Remain In Light;” most fans’ [raises hand] favorite TVLKING HEVDS album. Just as with the infamous “Expanded Heads” touring band, they will have nine more humans to re-create the thick Afrofunk vibe along with them, using members of Funk band Turquaz as well as people like Julie Slick, who is normally Belew’s bassist.
As I never saw TVLKING HEVDS ever, and am a big enough fan of Jerry Harrison’s fine solo material [I have it all] I would have been adequately happy with a Harrison tour playing his material. Indeed, I consider “The Red + The Black” to be the perfect sequel to “Remain In Light” and better than anything The Heads did afterward. But noooooooo, he had to link up with secret weapon guitarist Belew and dangle this Organ Auction Live Event Monk-Bait in front of my eyes as if to taunt me. And then they had to book a date in my city. And finally they had to pick an outdoor venue that I would certainly attend any show at – pandemic be damned!
Tickets went on sale at 10:00 a.m. today and the only reason why I don’t already have mine is that I’ve been actively fighting a wildfire at work this morning. As you can see, I’m only now at lunch break at [timestamp 2:17 p.m.], so make of that what you will. The two had planned this in 2019 but pandemic scuttled everything, and I can only think that it’s a shame that they didn’t think of this a decade ago when they might have gotten the great Bernie Worrell to add his vitally necessary Moog spice to the mix, but better late than never.
My mind is racing not at only hearing that incredible music live with members of the original band, but “Remain In Light” is only eight songs. What else are they going to sweeten the pot with on that stage?! The official word from the band’s website says, “performing songs from this monumental period of the band’s history.” so I can only hope that two or three of the cuts from the even more intense “The Red + The Black” [where Belew also guested] might joining their spiritual brethren on that stage!
The odd thing was that this tour was announced late last year, and I never caught wind of it. Otherwise I would have posted on this much sooner, but it appears that the second leg of the tour is newly announced. The first leg begins in Colorado in less than two weeks and continues through March 11th in Connecticut. The spring leg begins on May 12th in California, and continues through June 20th in Florida. The band have VIP packages for those interested in going all the way to help the tour stay in the black. To wit:
- One premium reserved ticket in the first 10 rows -OR- general admission ticket (where applicable)
- VIP early entry into the venue
- Exclusive pre-show meet & greet with Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew
- Personal photograph with Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew
- Intimate pre-show stories behind the music and Q&A with Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew
- Exclusive, limited edition Remain In Light poster, autographed by Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew
- Limited edition Remain In Light tour tote bag
- Commemorative pre-show VIP laminate
- Merchandise shopping opportunity before doors open to public
- Very limited availability
So what are those dates?
ADRIAN BELEW + JERRY HARRISON
Remain In Light North American Tour 2023 | TOUR DATES
- Feb 16, 2023 | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO
- Feb 17, 2023 | Boulder Theater | Boulder, CO
- Feb 18, 2023 | Vilar Performing Arts Center | Beaver Creek, CO
- Feb 21, 2023 | Tower Theatre | Oklahoma City, OK
- Feb 22, 2023 | The Factory | St. Louis, MO
- Feb 24, 2023 | First Avenue | Minneapolis, MN
- Feb 25, 2023 | The Vic Theatre | Chicago, IL
- Feb 26, 2023 | Egyptian Room at Old National Centre | Indianapolis, IN
- Feb 27, 2023 | Goodyear Theater | Akron, OH
- Feb 28, 2023 | Town Ballroom | Buffalo, NY
- Mar 2, 2023 | The Danforth Music Hall | Toronto, ON
- Mar 3, 2023 | Roxian Theatre | Pittsburg, PA
- Mar 4, 2023 | Rams Head Live! | Baltimore, MD
- Mar 5, 2023 | Starland Ballroom | Sayreville, NJ
- Mar 7, 2023 | Keswick Theatre | Glenside, PA
- Mar 8, 2023 | Empire Live | Albany, NY
- Mar 9, 2023 | Sony Hall | New York, NY
- Mar 10, 2023 | House of Blues Boston | Boston, MA
- Mar 11, 2023 | College Street Music Hall | New Haven, CT
- May 12, 2023 – May 14, 2023 | The Golden Road Gathering | Placerville, CA
- May 13, 2023 – May 14, 2023 | Mill Valley Music Festival | Mill Valley, CA
- May 16, 2023 | Neptune Theatre | Seattle, WA
- May 17, 2023 | McMenamins Crystal Ballroom | Portland, OR
- Jun 3, 2023 | Newport Music Hall | Columbus, OH
- Jun 4, 2023 | The Majestic Theatre | Detroit, MI
- Jun 6, 2023 | Brown’s Island | Richmond, VA
- Jun 7, 2023 | Raleigh Memorial Auditorium | Raleigh, NC
- Jun 9, 2023 | Rabbit Rabbit | Asheville, NC
- Jun 10, 2023 | The Eastern | Atlanta, GA
- Jun 11, 2023 | Township Auditorium | Columbia, SC
- Jun 13, 2023 | Music Hall at Fair Park | Dallas, TX
- Jun 14, 2023 | Moody Ampitheater | Austin, TX
- Jun 16, 2023 | White Oak Music Hall Lawn | Houston, TX
- Jun 17, 2023 | Mardi Gras World | New Orleans, LA
- Jun 19, 2023 | Saenger Theatre | Mobile, AL
- Jun 20, 2023 | Hard Rock Event Center | Tampa, FL
A caveat. I am more than just immune, I’m downright allergic to the notion of “tribute bands!” Ask my wife. I rail against them weekly when perusing the venue ads dominated by them in our local freekly. Indeed, nearby Knoxville [2 hours away] has their own Talking Heads cover band; Same As It Ever Was, that play here frequently enough that I had to look them up to verify if they were local or not!
But I can find myself admiring acts that are formed from one or more members, not touring under the name of the band they came from. For instance, I have wanted to see Woody Woodmansey’s Holy Holy [with Tony Visconti on bass, not to mention Glenn Gregory on vocals], playing the early Bowie music they recorded ages ago. And I have also been spellbound by the notion of Nick Mason of The Pink Floyd revisiting the pre-1972 music of that band with Floyd bassist extraordinaire Guy Pratt playing that Heavy-Psych Pink Floyd music that had much a stronger hold on me than their imperial period. They tour with Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp on vocals and guitar as Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets and I’d dearly love to see and hear that band!
So when I have Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew in a tour playing my favorite TVLKING HEVDS album and then some, I’m there, bucko. Heck, I’d be there for either of them playing an outdoor date in 2023! But this is shaping up to be a rare treat, in more ways than one. So if this is calling out to you as well, then hit that button!
That sounds like one really interesting gig. Two great musicians and a backing band performing tracks from my favourite Talking Heads album. If only they made it over here I’d be up for it.
So far this year I’m seeing Midge Ure and Sparks here in Liverpool. Can’t wait. I’m wondering if the Mael brothers will be promoting a new album.
Andy B – You don’t know about “The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte?” May 26th on… Island Records!
I certainly didn’t Monk. Thanks for that. That’s a must buy. They just can’t stop releasing excellent albums!
Andy B – Thank goodness! It’s gratifying to see them having their day in the sun.
>As I never saw TVLKING HEVDS ever
Talking Heads are THE ONLY band who:
I’ve never seen live.
All the members are alive.
I want to see live.
Yes, that’s a haiku. But anyone reading Mr. Monk’ blog should consider this haiku and make their list.
JT – Bless you, my son for your haiku!
Also. Just last night i was listening to Belew’s “Inner Revolution”, and thinking about how much that one song on it sounds completely like an homage to ELO. Then, I had this random thought that Adrien Belew had died. He didn’t die, but for some reason I had this idea, like a premonition, that he did. Then today I read this post. Monk, you know me IRL, and you know that I’m as empirical and skeptical as you, and as opposed to any sort of spiritual woo-woo as you are. Give me facts. Blind me with science. But still… I guess I better get my butt to this show?
JT – I actually love Belew’s “Inner Revolution” album, but isn’t he being Beatlesque on that one? I think you’re letting your ELOvian lenses fog your vision! That said, my antipathy for The Beatles [and ELO even moreso] somehow fails when Adrian Belew tries his hand at Beatleisms. With him alone, I actually found it charming and even attractive, for the first time in my life. Heck, I just dinged freaking Pet Shop Boys for trying that trick the other week on “Release!”
But yes, you should get your butt to any show with any musician you like [especially having never seen Harrison, I’m guessing] who are still alive…old friend! Because they are officially dropping like flies.
Would love to see this, hope it makes the UK.
I dislike ‘tribute’ bands, but this is a significant cut above that.
I have seen the current version of Love, which features Johnny Echols from the original band, multiple times and they provide a textbook lesson in how a tribute can be sincere, vital and massively enjoyable.
SimonH – I suspect that this show could cross the pond a bit later. They just added the summer dates here after the first leg. Keep an eye peeled.
Bought tickets for the Baltimore show immediately, as I had been following news of their live shows for the last couple of years. I saw the Heads on the Remain tour, and it changed my life: Sunny Ade on the sound system, Kid Creole opening, and then Adrian, Bernie and Busta! I am also wary of nostalgia, but the album still sounds fresh-I’ve been proselytizing it since it came out-and I can walk to the gig. I’m going for the lift-off, the transcendent joy of that music, but also just to let them know how much I valued the work they did then. And that I still very much do.
timo – Welcome to the comments! Wow – you saw the original tour? Nice! Such stuff didn’t happen in Florida back then! Kid Creole opening? Another wow and that must have been a great pairing. I miss Bernie, but at least I saw him several times in Asheville. Thankfully, he spent much time here, played shows solo and with others [Bootsy Collins, Steve Kimock, Volts Per Octave].
I also got to see the original Remain in Light tour in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre (a faux-Egyptian former movie palace and fantastic music venue), with Tom Tom Club opening. I hope to arrange a way to go to one of the shows, as much for hearing a new interpretation of that album as for the hope and prayer that Jerry will flesh it out with songs from The Red & The Black and other TH songs.
I very much enjoyed Angelique Kidjo’s remake of RIL with even more authentic African soundscapes, it will be interesting to see what Harrison, Belew, & esteemed company can do with it.
chasinvictoria – I still need to hear Angelique Kidjo’s version! As for “The Red + The Black.” they would be crazy with a band this big not to do one or two tracks. If I only got “Magic Hymie” and “World In Collision” I could die happily.
This tour previewed in LA last fall, shortly after Adrian’s wonderful Elevator tour. The next day they went up to San Francisco and played it in Golden gate Park, at the Hardley Strictly bluegrass festival. There was a free stream of this concert available, but I haven’t checked in the last few months. Check it out for a fine preview of what is likely to be most of their set list!
And I just have to take this opportunity to plug Elevator, a thoroughly delightful collection of his latest songs.
rangster – Interesting that the preview was online. I am living under a setlist embargo until showtime as I want to be free of expectation and just dig it in the moment. I’ve not heard any recent Belew albums in the last 15+ years, apart from the last live set I saw in 2017.
Saw the “Escape From New York” tour, so that is as close to seeing Talking Heads as I ever got. I would jump at this… I love Belew’s solo work, but will be unavailable that night with another commitment and my life is such that I can not travel for shows. And (regular) ticket prices are reasonable!
postpostmoderndad – Yes! At least ticket prices are affordable! I paid $49.50 + etix service charge for mine. Modest for the number of humans onstage! The “Escape From New York” tour was fun, and conceptually right-on, but at least I saw all three of those bands separately.
Uh…. four bands…. Ms. Harry and Mr. Harrison were doing “solo” sets. I still need to make my way to a Blondie gig. Have seen Ramones a few times and also got to see Tom Tom Club on their own as well – btw – just finished Chris Franz’s “Remain In Love” and it’s a very solid read. Even if your opinions on Talking Heads are wrong. ;p
postpostmoderndad – Oh, I forgot that Jerry Harrison was on the “Escape” tour! My error! For some years I was skittish on buying the Casual Gods albums since I was in awe of “The Red + The Black.” I eventually bought the lot and I like them fine, but yeah. Give me “The Red + The Black” and I’m a blissed-out camper.I liked Frantz’s book as well. I’ve never seen Blondie either, Only Ms. Harry solo.
Saw the Chicago gig last night.
They did 5/8ths of RiL, a Harrison solo tune, a “Belew” tune (Thela Hun Gingeet!), and seven further pre-1980 Heads tunes (including a few deeper cuts). Nothing by Heads from after RiL.
Their nine-piece band were also the opening act.
Some of the songs came across really well, and various people traded off doing lead vocals. The baritone sax player actually sang a lot of tunes, but he couldn’t help imitating David Byrne’s mannerisms, which was a little cringey. Belew seemed to be having a good time, and was really having fun with his bits. Two backing vocalist (co-leads in their opening slot) had good energy and did some good work.
The set was really uneven, sometimes they pulled it together and sounded good, other times they sounded like they were at a first rehearsal. Once in a Lifetime was beyond miserable. It was a truly awful performance. Not sure how I felt about Thela Hun Gingeet being, probably, the show-stopper. Shoulda’ been a Heads tune that brought the house down.
Sound engineer really dropped the ball too. In spite of working in this industry for three-plus decades, I don’t go into shows to nitpick the mix. But this guy’s mix was super-shrill and tinny, with no thump at all. No definition between the instruments, it was just a murky wash. He forgot to turn up various players while they were soloing on multiple occasions, and also seemed to have no idea who was supposed to sing lead on each tune, so the singers were often buried for their first few lines. The brass (who probably didn’t need to be there in the first place) were inaudible, all night. Worst live mix I’ve heard since Fear at Club Visage in Orlando, FL, in 1992!
Audience were almost all people in their fifties, mostly guys. Only like 2% of them were masked, which was disturbing.
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JT – Thanks for that FOH perspective on the mix. We’ve walked out of shows because of the mix. “Thela Hun Gingeet” was probably the most TVLKING HEVDS-like King Crimson track from their most TVLKING HEVDS-like period, but I concur. We shoulda had “Crosseyed And Painless” or “The Great Curve” as the showstopper. And a horn section throughout when only “Houses In Motion” sported horns is excessive. And since that was Jon Hassel, picking up a horn section and expecting equivalence was folly! I hope that the 2nd leg of the tour I’m seeing gets the mix issues settled. I hate when artists onstage are soloing and I can see the effort but not hear it!
Also, I rarely see masks, except in my mirror, so not a shock. I’m glad they have an outdoor show, otherwise it would not be happening for me. I’ll be there… outdoors, and I’ll be wearing a mask anyway!