For the past 10 years, sleek pop superstars have paraded about in limos and Lear jets while the real rockers have shut themselves off in the dingy basements of cities . . . and waited. Now they have emerged, bringing with them the seething fears and frustrations of their urban environments.
At the vanguard of these new urban rockers are the Talking Heads. Their show last night at the Ontario Theatre was stirring and at times scary, filled with nervous energy and strained emotions. The tense beat and stark electronic screeches that pervaded their performance created an air of electricity that played at the spines of the capacity crowd. The sound forced the listeners out of their seats and into the aisles, in spasmodic fits of dancing.
Singer-guitarist David Byrne staggered across the stage, sprewing out jagged solos and manic, shouted vocals, while Tina Weymouth, dressed in urban-guerrilla khaki, unleashed savage bass lines. Drummer Kris Frantz and keyboardist Jerry Harrison countered with slicing rhythmic accents that tore through the music like a knife. The sound was wild yet controlled, bristling with a furious excitement.
The Talking Heads are harsh and uncompromising. Their music is a chilling evocation of the monstrosities of modern society, with a power that is undeniable.