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David Byrne: Ride Rise Roar

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This feature-length documentary profiles David Byrne - famous lead vocalist of the former band Talking Heads, today a solo artist, event organizer and publisher. A clever combination of onstage energy and intimate testimony, the film shows him rehearsing, talking about his work and appearing in concert with his band and dance group.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: David Byrne
  • Directors: David Hillman Curtis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QC6HBO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,398 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Lynd on June 2, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I was looking forward to this DVD having been to the show in 2008. For those not lucky enough to see it, David Byrne put together quite a show - great songs from his CD "Everything That Will Happen Will Happen Today" (that he collaborated on with Brian Eno). The show also focused on other Eno-Byrne tracks from the Talking Heads 70's-80's albums. Byrne added several dancers to the stage for these shows and the results were pretty interesting - definitely a visual show rather than just an audio experience. The DVD however is edited quite heavily and omits several songs played on the tour and in between the songs (fortunately no songs are cut) there is some backstage and behind the scenes footage. It's obviously just my opinion but this footage would have made for a nice bonus feature instead, and having more of the concert without editing would have been a little better. Some of the backstage footage admittedly is interesting as sometimes it introduces the songs, but for me the concert feels a little too chopped up. The DVD is still really great to have though - the sound and picture are both good and the footage is pretty cool - apparently shot with advanced hand held cameras. So, I'll go with four stars - if the DVD was a little longer and included more songs it could have been five. There are some great songs performed on this tour that were left off for some reason, notably "Strange Overtones", "Help Me Somebody" "My Big Hands", "Wanted For Life" and "Born Under Punches". This might have made for a long theatrical release but all would have been great to have as bonus tracks for this DVD.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Modern dance and pop music can complement each other. Who knew? The performances on RRR show musicians and dancers performing together, but not always in their traditional roles. You see dancers imitating the musicians- and musicians imitating the dancers. The tension brings energy to the performances. At one point, a dancer jumps over Byrne's head! Everyone gets a chance to explain their experience- how the backup singers felt when they were asked to move, how the choreographers interpreted the songs, even how the musicians let the dancers guide their improvizations! But the video contains much more music than, well, talking heads.

The songs are presented in their full length, although the video sometimes cuts between the live performance and rehearsals. If you caught the tour, you know how great it was. If you didn't catch the tour, this is the next best thing. Byrne is still in excellent voice, and he rocks that tutu!

Here's the set list:

1. Once in a Lifetime

2. Life Is Long

3. I Zimbra

4. Road To Nowhere

5. One Fine Day

6. The Great Curve

7. My Big Nurse

8. Burning Down The House

9. Houses In Motion

10. Air

11. Life During Wartime

12. Heaven

13. I Feel My Stuff

14. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
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I give five stars to David Byrne, the band, and the choreographers and dancers for a great performance. The music and innovative dancing are great. Unfortunately the director/editor didn't choose to show the performance, but decided instead to slice it into 1 second shots from all over the place, so we can rarely ever see what's happening on stage. INFURIATING to try to watch a show edited like this, and it does a great disservice to the dancers and choreographers because we don't get a chance to really see what they are doing like the live audience got to see. So a 5 star show is lowered to a 2 star video, ruined by bad editing.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
During the tour which is the subject of this documentary (and for those who have complained, it -is- a documentary, not a concert film), Jon Pareles, chief music critic for The New York Times, wrote a review after having seen the Radio City Music Hall show. In it, Pareles commented that he thought the dancers in the show were a distraction. David Byrne, for his part, wrote a scathing rebuttal in his blog, in which he said, among other things, "I guess 30 years from now (Pareles)'ll figure out what this show was about."

In Ride, Rise Roar, Byrne says that when he came up with the idea to use dancers as part of the show, he wasn't sure how the audience would react, but he was looking forward to finding out. Having seen three of the tour's shows at the time, I didn't fully get what the dancers were about, but thought the shows were great. As you watch RRR, Byrne, the choreographers, the dancers, and the musicians all take turns explaining how the show was conceptually put together song by song. By the end you do get a much better sense of "what this show was about".

This is a great documentary. The concert footage is at times more effective than Stop Making Sense, and the picture and sound quality are nothing short of unbelievable. Sit back, crank the volume up on your surround sound system, and let the creative force that is David Byrne launch a full on assault on your senses.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
My brother and I loved experiencing this tour at Brisbane's Convention Centre in February 2009. We were sitting right up the back (and to the side). From there the whole show sounded big and beautiful, and the choreography (complimented by excellent lighting) made me 100% aware that I was experiencing pure unique showbusiness - something very special indeed. From the back of the venue this was a show that made use of the whole stage, and almost all of the time.

So the wonderful thing about this Blu-ray is that I now have a complete impression of the show - the close-ups I could only imagine, the entertaining background story, and perfect surround sound. I am very happy with the way this film proves the value and integrity of the show, and gives us an insider appreciation of the intricacies involved.

I like the comment made by the male dancer about David Byrne aggressively berating a security guard who was trying to confiscate a punter's camera - having already made it clear to the security people that punters could take as many photos as they liked. (The complete opposite of Placebo at the same venue a few years earlier, when Brian Molko spotted the red glow of a camera LED, stopped the show, brought up the house lights and demanded that security eject the poor guy with the camera).

David Byrne doesn't ever do a half-arsed job. I strongly recommend "David Byrne: Ride Rise Roar" to anyone who attended this tour - and to anyone who is a fan of his music and art.
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