Couchsurfing: 'New' 1980s Talking Heads concert footage appears on YouTube

Couchsurfing: 'New' 1980s Talking Heads concert footage appears on YouTube

Back in November of last year (thanks to the Music Vault YouTube channel), concert footage from 1980 emerged of the Talking Heads performing 14 songs at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey, but it took website Dangerous Minds highlighting the reel last week for it to reach the masses. Rabid, obsessive fans lunged to soak in the beautifully shot documentation of the band's inescapable groove and expand on the short clip many saw from the same concert that Dangerous Minds noted was included in the 2011 Talking Heads doc Chronology. As of this writing, the video has more than 80,000 views – a large number, sure, but it's nothing compared to the nearly 9 million views the official music video for "Once in a Lifetime" has – and my guess is that the 80-minute time-stamp deflects more casual fans' interest. Perhaps the more straightforward footage of a casually buttoned-up David Byrne also deters those more attracted to the quirk than the spunk of the widely acclaimed band.

But it shouldn't. This riveting concert gets ecstatically close to each band member, showing you not only their prowess in tightly zoomed-in shots, but also the infectious energy that enables really rad alternate live versions of Talking Heads' prime songs (which were freshly released that year on Remain in Light), like "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)." Within the same shot, you'll see Jerry Harrison intently focused, fingers moving rapidly but rigidly as if mechanized on the keys, while back-up singer Dolette McDonald buoyantly horses around without missing a note. It's worth it just for the soul-searing Byrne close-ups where he looks right through you, but if you're just in it for his dancing, skip to 35:20. However, be warned: If you miss the live performance of Al Green's "Take Me to the River" near the end, you've officially stopped making sense.


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Ashley Belanger

Associate editor, music nerd, NBA junkie, Florida explorer and obsessive pet owner.
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