Last Friday at Durty Nellie's in Palatine, Talking Heads cover band This Must Be the Band showed the audience just how much fun a concert should be. As a cover band, they take on the persona of the band very well. As a group of musicians, they have become very tight over their two years of playing concerts together. All of this combined for probably the most fun I've had at a concert all year.
One of the things I love about this band is that their passion for the Talking Heads is on display for the entire 3 ½ hours that they are playing. Yes, the show is really a marathon session. The band took the stage around 11:30 and played clear on till 3am, with only a short break in the middle for everyone to catch their breath.
Lead singer and David Byrne's long lost son, Charlie Otto, took the stage in a kimono, channeling Byrne's quirkiness in everything he does. He sings like him, talks like him, walks like him, dances around the stage with the backup dancers like him...he even kind of looks like a young Byrne.
Otto is not the only show on the stage, and what a crowded stage it is. Up front with him are the beautiful and talented backup singers Kasey Foster and Leah Karabenick, both of whom were a flurry of energy and did not stop dancing the entire show, including a trip through the crowd. The excitement the band has on stage really feeds the crowd and vice-versa. An honorable mention must go to percussionist Pat Sweeney, perhaps the hardest working man on stage that night.
This Must Be the Band has a great catalog to draw from, mixing up rare Talking Heads songs with the more popular songs and throwing in a few Byrne solo songs for good measure. Something that surprised me about this band was their joy from having people shout out songs for them to play (thanks for playing "Road to Nowhere"). Otto seems to love it, and especially gets a kick out of people who call for songs that have already been played.
Next up for This Must Be the Band is their two-year anniversary show at Martyr's, Saturday August 29th. Lead singer Charlie Otto's band Savvy will be opening the show, playing for the first time ever. Following that, they will be at the Cubby Bear North on Saturday September 12th, and Joe's on Weed Street Friday, October 9th. If you're only going to see one more show this year, then This Must Be the Band!