Chemical Brothers, David Byrne join Metronome

Byrne promises his ‘most ambitious show since Stop Making Sense’

Rock icon David Byrne and the Chemical Brothers have both been added to the lineup for the 2018 edition of the Metronome Festival, to be held June 22–23 at Výstaviště in Prague 7–Holešovice. They join the previously announced lineup of singer-songwriter Tom Odell, former Velvet Underground member John Cale, DJ and producer Sister Bliss, and Czech band Tata Bojs.

The Chemical Brothers were last in Prague in August 2007. The duo of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons debuted in 1995 with their album Exit Planet Dust. They now have eight studio albums and one soundtrack, plus 28 singles.

“The Chemical Brothers are one of the most important electronic music visionaries of the last quarter century,” Metronome festival program director Barbora Šubrtová said in a press release. “Their position on the music scene is attested by the fact that six of their albums have reached the top of the British charts and they have won four Grammy Awards.”

“The Chemical Brothers are going to conclude the main stage program, so all of the visitors can look forward to extraordinary visual show which has never been part of Metronome before. I, personally, saw their performance at Glastonbury music festival in 2015 and consider it as one of my strongest musical experiences ever,” Šubrtová added. “I am glad that we are able to mediate this extraordinary show to an audience at Metronome festival.”

David Byrne has played Prague’s Divadlo Archa in 1996 and ’98, so this marks his return after 20 years.

“David Byrne, along with John Cale, is one of the pillars of alternative and rock music,” Metronome’s Šubrtová said in a press release. “We are delighted that both will perform at the Metronome Festival, and the audience will have the chance to see concerts by the two legends at one place during one festival weekend.”

On Byrne’s website, he lists his appearance at the festival as June 23.

Byrne, the former frontman of the Talking Heads has been working on a new solo record and collaborating with artists including Brian Eno and Oneohtrix Point Never. The album should be released in 2018.

His most recent solo tour was in 2009 when he played at the Colours of Ostrava festival. His most recently released studio album, Love This Giant, recorded with St. Vincent. came out in 2012, and he toured with her as a duo in 2012 and ’13.

He posted some details about the upcoming tour on Facebook. “Some months ago I went … to test out tech for some new live shows. I had an idea that everyone in the band might be mobile… so there would be no risers, drum platform or any of that stuff,” Byrne said.

“With everyone mobile, I realized the stage could be completely clear. If we could have the monitors in our ears, the amps off-stage and the lights up high, then we had the possibility of a completely empty space,” he said, discussing possibilities for staging a show using chains instead of curtains, and other ideas.

“The band and I will be testing all of this in front of a live audience during a small number of shows in the beginning of March. We’ll be doing some new songs … and many others that will, I assume, be familiar. I’m excited. This is the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense, so fingers crossed,” he said.

Over his career has received an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Grammy for the score of The Last Emperor. His rock musical Here Lies Love won Drama Desk and Obie awards. As a member of the Talking Heads, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Tickets are on sale now, and there are special gift packages for the holidays. “There are limited edition sets of festival tickets now available together with vinyl records of artists like Sting, Iggy Pop, and the Velvet Underground,” festival director David Gaydečka said. “In addition, together with the fastest ticket purchases, people will receive a surprise gift, like a T-shirt, bag or lots of other things, and with each ticket sold a Metronome badge will be included.”

The Metronome festival was launched in 2016 because Prague was lacking a big outdoor summer music festival that could attract big names. The headliner for the first year was Iggy Pop, and the second year had former Police frontman Sting. The first year attracted 7,500 people, despite inclement weather and the next one saw 14,000 people.

In the lead up to Christmas, visitors can buy tickets in special packages at the official website or through Ticketpro.

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