Watch David Byrne perform Talking Heads classics at first ‘American Utopia: Unchained’ show

The Broadway show was altered due to several cast members testing positive for coronavirus

A reworked version of David Byrne’s American Utopia returned to Broadway on Tuesday night (December 28) featuring a completely new setlist and modified stage show – watch footage below.

The show originally started its second run in Manhattan earlier this year but was forced to cancel dates recently with company members testing positive for COVID-19. However, Byrne announced that the show would go on and set to work creating a modified version of ‘America Utopia’.

In a Facebook video, Byrne said that “rather than us cancelling our shows, we’re looking at this as a kind of opportunity to, well, honour our commitment to the audiences who are coming in the coming weeks and creating something special.”


Byrne went on to describe ‘American Utopia: Unchained’ as “something unlike anything we’ve done before”.

The setlist for the first night of ‘American Utopia: Unchained’ featured Talking Heads classics ‘Life During Wartime’, ‘Heaven’, ‘(Nothing but) Flowers’ and ‘And She Was’.

Byrne also added a handful of his own solo songs, including  ‘Everyone’s In Love With You’ and ‘Marching Through Wilderness’ as well as a selection of his collaborations with Brian Eno like ‘My Big Nurse’, ‘Life Is Long’ and ‘Strange Overtones’ while regular ‘American Utopia’ tracks like ‘Road To Nowhere’ were given a stripped back reworking.

Check out footage and the setlist for ‘American Utopia: Unchained’ below.






Speaking about the reworked show, Byrne said: “We’re having a great time learning this stuff and a lot of fun doing it. It’s gonna be amazing. I’m excited about it. I think it shows that we can adapt and persevere.”

‘American Utopia: Unchained’ is set to run for one week only before the regular ‘American Utopia’ resumes until the end of April 2022. The show is held at Broadway’s St. James Theatre and tickets are on sale now.

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