DVD Review: David Byrne's Ride, Rise, Roar

When the gentle bleep of my inbox rang out while I was furiously typing away on another project, the subject line stopped me dead in my tracks. It read "Does anyone like David Byrne?"

All I could think to myself was "Oh Mary, mother of GOD, YES!" and then set out to see if he was on tour and if Culture Brats was sending me my tickets via Fed Ex or regular mail. Then I got my "Cool your jets" email explaining that there was a new live concert film called Ride, Rise, Roar and we were getting a copy.

Because I possess a spectacular suspension of disbelief, I was able to conjure up the feeling of actually being there with just a very large television, dimmed lights, super surround sound, and the smell of distant smoke wafting through my nostrils while I ate burnt nachos.

But I digress.

This is not your ordinary concert documentary.

First off, it's shot with a kind of artistic grace you don't see very often while watching live concert footage. You get auditions, band rehearsals, interviews. You name it, they’ve got it covered here.

What holds up the best for me though is the music. Renditions of "Once In A Lifetime" and "Burning Down The House," while old favorites, take on a new sheen during these performances, many of which are accompanied by modern dance numbers.

And that, strangely enough, was this viewer's only complaint. While I get how the whole thing fits together cohesively, I still found the dancing strangely distracting when I wanted to see Byrne in a more stripped-down performance vehicle. Sometimes it's just more fun to sit quietly and listen to him do his thing without all the frenetic energy buzzing around.

Still, this was nearly ninety minutes of enthralling musical entertainment that offers something completely different for anyone tired of the same old concert film template. The charisma of the magnificently talented David Byrne is enough to keep you riveted and his unique take on how to present his music always comes up fresh.

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