Ride, Rise, Roar Reviews
I always have respect for artists who try to push the boundaries of what they do later in their careers, but the problem here is that Ride, Rise, Roar isn't really that different. It's like a karaoke version of Stop Making Sense. The whole premise of the visual experience is dancing, but SMS already had choreographed on-stage dancing. The difference is that it was more natural and uniform and rhythmically in-tempo with the hypnotic music. This film features what look like three Stanford grads spazz dancing for an hour and a half. It doesn't ad any deeper meaning to the melodic or lyrical content. Instead of interpretive dance they might as well have just hired actors to pantomime scenes.
What I think this project forgot was that David Byrne was and will always be the centerpiece, even in the Talking Heads days. This concert concept tries desperately to make you interested in these dancers who get in the way of the only person on stage with actual presence. Stop Making Sense got it right, Byrne danced and everyone else mimicked his movements, creating a giant framework that directed the audience attention perfectly. RRR is an on-stage free-for-all.
That said; it somehow worked. Watching those dancers move to the beat of songs Iā(TM)ve always loved while Byrne sang and moved with them was entertaining, fascinating, and at times emotional, and also caused me to dance along in my seat.
Director David Hillman Curtis does an excellent job of pacing on-stage action with personal interviews, creating a complete picture of the tour. A must-see for Talking Heads fans, for sure.
The only question I have is this: how does David Byrne stay so cool, even when heā(TM)s bouncing around the stage in a tutu?