A Brilliant Return for a Talking Heads Album

The New Yorker 

Twenty-six years after Talking Heads broke up, David Byrne remains one of New York's most recognizable people. There he is, about town, slim and white-haired--on his bicycle, at a just-opened restaurant, at the Public Theatre (his second musical, "Joan of Arc: Into the Fire," had a run there last month), or at a concert by an artist on his boutique record label, Luaka Bop. Before I took a seat at Carnegie Hall last Friday, then, I periscoped the room, wondering whether he was there and, if he was, whether he would wind up onstage. Angélique Kidjo, born in Benin, long based in Brooklyn, was performing "Remain in Light," and it seemed inevitable that Byrne would show, if only to see what another great artist would do with his strongest, strangest work. The band members strode out and took their places beneath the Stern Auditorium's broad arch: a dozen musicians, female and male, black and white, singers and instrumentalists.