Watch ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ teaser for Spike Lee-directed concert film

"Still the best musical experience on the planet"

The first teaser for Spike Lee’s concert film adaptation of David Byrne’s American Utopia has landed.

In the one minute clip, Byrne narrates over a montage of his roving musical ensemble gyrating, shouting and marching across the stage. “Despite all that’s happened and despite what’s still happening, there’s still possibility,” Byrne says, adding: “James Baldwin said: ‘I still believe that we can do with this country something that has not been done before.'”


Lee’s movie, which is set to premiere on HBO on October 17, was filmed during Byrne’s Broadway residency that ran from October 2019 to February 2020.

Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’ featured the musician speaking with the audience about the state of America and also included performances of songs from throughout his career, going back to his first Talking Heads record through to his 2018 ‘American Utopia’ solo album.

In 2018, Byrne named a live record of ‘American Utopia’ after a quote from an NME review of the show performed in Oxford.

David Byrne
David Byrne CREDIT: Dave Simpson/WireImage

“Our review caught the attention of Byrne himself,” wrote NME’s Dan Stubbs, “who was either so chuffed or so amused by its hyperbolic frothiness that he decided to name his new release… wait for it… ‘“…The Best Live Show of All Time” — NME’ EP.”

Now, as per Lee’s trailer, Byrne has included NME writer Thomas Smith’s gushing one-liner from his review of the Broadway show in January: “Still the best musical experience on the planet.”


Lee’s movie will also premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. For HBO Max viewers, David Byrne’s American Utopia drops at 8pm in the US on October 17.

In other news, Whitney recently released a cover of ‘Strange Overtones’ by David Byrne and Brian Eno.