David Byrne's American Utopia

David Byrne's American Utopia

In between songs, Byrne gives a few speeches—all good-intentioned, some cornball. One is about Kurt Schwitters and Hugo Ball; Byrne quotes a few lines from the latter about resisting fascism and gets a nice round of applause from the crowd. Later on, he urges people to vote, noting that local elections only boast a 20% turnout. “We gotta do better than 20%,” he says, and the crowd cheers (what were they going to do, boo?). The intent in projecting a photo of Colin Kaepernick as the performers, mid-song, kneel and raise their firsts, is well-meaning, but this is basically the kind of exercise in self-congratulatory liberalism that pushes the buttons of easily-outraged Breitbart readers, provokes rapturous applause from an almost universally white crowd eager to affirm their liberal bona fides and is likely to make everyone else roll their eyes.

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