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The lights go down, backing music halts and all eyes face the stage. Heads cocked at an angle as if they’ve been summoned by the RTE Angelus bells. Tonight, we too are searching for something greater than ourselves.
Our gaunt prophet takes the shape of Talking Heads frontman, David Byrne. An unlikely saviour in white suit and tennis shoes. We line the aisle of the venue waiting to receive our communion. The opening chords of Psycho Killer, our daily bread. Stripped back to just an acoustic guitar and a minimal drum loop. We all know this one. Even if you don’t know this one, you know this one. You’ve bawled it at 2 am in the underage serving hideouts of your youth, in your best Leaving Cert french “QU’EST QUE C’EST!?”.
I look around a packed venue to a sea of hopeful faces, lit by the glow of the screen. I represent the median age here. Born in 1991, the year The Talking Heads stopped making music. Yet here I am, here we all are, in a packed venue on a Friday night romanticising about a past in which we were never present.
Guns N Roses are back together. The sales of vinyl are at their highest since the eighties.The Nokia 3210 has returned to the shelves and U2 are touring their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. (Did the time machine work?) Meanwhile, last year was the hottest year on record, we’re in the midst of the worst refugee crisis known to man and the right tilting global power shift doesn’t bear thinking about. Is it any wonder that we want to go backwards? Clutching onto strings bound to a world in which we hardly existed.
The crystalised bodies on stage make their way through their dazzling eighteen track setlist, the crowd growing in elation until the whole place is on their feet. We edge closer to the stage, severing the lines between their past and our present with ever inch. Alcohol dissolving any aversion that might be had to dancing and singing along to moving pictures on a screen. We twirl our bodies, limbs flailing, convulsing as if it’s our last night on earth. Singing “We’re on a road to Nowhere”. Because maybe we are.