TIFEM All Yesterday’s Parties – Talking Heads Perform at Kingswood Music Theatre

It certainly takes a lot of work and a lot of talented and motivated people to create a memorable, well organized and enjoyable event.

Throughout history there have been many musical movements, happenings and events that have shaped the past and foreshadowed the future of music.

In this series, we try and make the impossible happen and go back in time to celebrate an epic event that has had an impact musically, culturally or otherwise.

Talking Heads Perform at Kingswood Music Theatre, August 12, 1983.

The lineup to the grounds at (not yet Paramount) Canada’s Wonderland looks like a group of extras let loose from a John Hughes movie set. Spiky haired teenagers with really skinny ties lean against Mazda 626’s and blast the Talking Head’s latest, Speaking in Tongues, through their cassette decks. The sounds meld in the air along with the smell of Funnel Cakes and the blood curdling screams heard from the Mighty Minebuster.

80’s New Wave is in full swing, and the brand new Kingswood Music Theatre was playing host to New York’s Talking Heads, on tour supporting their latest album.

The hoard of New Wavers ride the ferris wheel, and try to hold their Pizza Pizza down. They are thankful and even quite contented with the fact that the wind from the rides will enhance the height of their hairstyles. An aerosol assault following a couple of runs around the fury, and that hair is ready for Talking Heads.

That hair is up for quite the show. In store for a crowd of 15, 000 is a performance that will go on to become legendary and spawn the Talking Head’s concert film and album, Stop Making Sense.

The opening song is TH staple Psycho Killer. It features a solo David Byrne playing an acoustic guitar kept to time by a boom box with a recorded drum loop on the cassette. Not your average concert, the Heads are introduced one by one, with a new member entering the scene after each successive song.

Heaven is next and is played as a duo, with Byrne and bassist Tina Weymouth. The sound gets bigger with each new addition, and the effect is exhilarating.

This cumulative progression continues beyond the band’s immediate members and by the time the groove from Girlfriend is Better begins, the band is at full capacity, a small pop orchestra of sorts.

By the time the show is over, the walk back to the 626 feels like a flight. Hearing the echoes of perhaps one of the best concerts of his life, the young man looks to the horizon. He focuses his gaze on the peak of the Magic Mountain. He senses the sheer potential of this place, the promise of what is to come. At the moment he turns away, jingling his keys, a midnight coloured vampire bat rides the sky backwards over the jagged summit.