Once In A Lifetime: The Talking Heads Concert Film “Stop Making Sense” Live

One by one the members of The Talking Heads trickled onto the stage…in the 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense that is.

From retro synthesizers to unsteady table lamps to one really, really big suit, the performance art piece filmed by award-winning director Jonathan Demme is truly one of kind.

I only found out about the showing in Chicago’s Millennium Park 24-hours before but I knew I had to go. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see this historic “rock doc” of sorts on the park’s giant screen in Pritzker Pavilion.

I threw out the warning call on Facebook but once again, no one bit. So alone at the show I was. But not having a buddy didn’t stop me from enjoying this “Once In A Lifetime” experience one ounce.

I grabbed my favorite snack (Potbelly cookies) and headed to the park for a night of singing and dancing in my seat.


It was amazing to see the range of ages at the show. From old rockers who had probably seen the original Speaking In Tongues tour live to young city hipsters picnic-ing in the grass to parents with little kids, dancing in the aisles imitating the infectiously fun dance moves of lead singer David Byrne.

The crowd cheered and clapped after every song like we were all really at a concert. It definitely was the closest I’ll ever get to seeing a real Talking Heads concert in person and for that I’m grateful.

Watching the film that’s now 33 years old (!), I noticed how it looked and sounded like it could’ve come out yesterday. Over the course of the show the band tears through 16 tracks laced with beyond funky bass lines and ahead of it’s time electronic hooks.


If you’ve never really dug deep into The Talking Heads, I recommend you do. They have a huge discography and you’re bound to find something you can’t help but bob your head to.

At the very least you should watch a few music videos of theirs to fully appreciate the front man that is David Byrne. From his eclectic outfits to his wacky faces to his vocals that can never be emulated because you just have to be born with pipes like that, it’s worth your while.

Check out this quick vid I snapped of their song “Slippery People” off the famous Speaking In Tongues album.


-Stacey P.


Oh and just for fun, a classic Bean pic.



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