David Byrne joined one of the best episodes of Saturday Night Live this season, making a triumphant return to the show after over 30 years, and he kicked it off with a classic from Talking Heads by way of his Broadway show American Utopia.
Byrne's first performance was "Once in a Lifetime" alongside the other members of the Broadway cast. It recently closed at the tail end of February on Broadway, making this performance one of the final times in New York until the fall. The show sold out with its first engagement that just wrapped up and will be brought back in September.
The performance was fairly subdued, with Byrne and the cast performing in the iconic gray suit that he wore back in during the Talking Heads days.
Byrne's second performance was a version of "Toe Jam," originally released under The Brighton Port Authority in collaboration with Fatboy Slim. Upon its original release, it was given a fun, NSFW video with some creative censorship. The SNL version is far more playful and clothed.
Talking Heads put out eight albums from 1975 until 1988, performing together on SNL in 1979 in the bands only appearance. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, reuniting for a short performance.
Since the breakup, Byrne has been solo and returned to SNL for his second performance to support his first solo album in 1989.
Fans of the artist were excited to see the performance and felt it was a breath of fresh air considering current events and the general tone of 2020 to this point.
"David Byrne singing Once in a Lifetime is the pick-me-up I really needed tonight," one fan wrote.
"Sounded great...the legend!" another added.
"That performance was SO GOOD!!! David Byrne is the best SNL musical guest in a looooong time. Raised the bar!" a third satisfied fan wrote.
"He and Mulaney are the only things saving this episode," another noted with a little criticism on the episode.0comments
According to Billboard, American Utopia will also will release a filmed version of the musical directed by Spike Lee. There is no release date for the film version yet but it should be announced later this year, likely to coincide with the return of the musical this September.
Tickets can be purchased on the American Utopia website for the 17-week engagement.