The best rock concert you see this year may well be in a movie theater

Jim Harrington, Bay Area News Group on

Published in Entertainment News

“Stop Making Sense” is heading back to where it belongs:

The big screen.

The 1984 Jonathan Demme-directed masterpiece, which many consider to be the greatest concert film of all time, opens in IMAX theaters on Friday. One week later, on Sept. 29, distribution widens to include other theaters across the country.

In either format, the film — starring Rock & Roll Hall of Famers the Talking Heads at the very height of their powers — will be a great treat for rock fans. Yet, having had the chance to catch this new 4K IMAX restoration of the film during a special event screening earlier in the month, we implore music lovers to try to catch “Stop Making Sense” on the big, big screen.


Seeing Talking Heads front man David Byrne tower over you on the IMAX screen, as he moves and shakes his way through such great songs as “Girlfriend Is Better” and “Crosseyed and Painless,” just underscores his uniqueness as a performer in ways that watching the film on your phone or tablet could never do.

The guy was simply a force of nature at that point in his career, whirling about the stage with equal amounts of ideas and energy. It’s hard to take your eyes off him, whether he’s grooving solo next to a boom box or rocking out on a stage filled with other talented musicians. And once he dons his famed “big suit” then the party is really on.

Don’t be surprised if the audience breaks out in applause after many of the numbers — as they did during the screening we saw. And definitely don’t be surprised if you decide to embark on a Talking Heads listening binge after seeing the movie, diving even deeper into the wonderful music of Byrne, drummer Chris Frantz, guitarist-keyboardist Jerry Harrison and bassist Tina Weymouth.

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