This Must Be The Band
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This Must Be The Band

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band R&B Funk


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"Concert Preview: This Must Be The Band at The Athenaeum"

One of the nation’s premier Talking Heads tribute bands returns to Indianapolis on Saturday, March 19th in the Cabaret at the Athenaeum. This Must Be The Band played to a near sellout crowd in its only other Circle City appearance in 2010. So you can definitely expect this year to be just as exciting.
Since May 2007, frontman Charles Otto has been burning down the house as he performs his best David Byrne impersonation for audiences throughout Chicago and the Midwest. The set includes such fan favorites as “Psycho Killer,” “Take Me to the River,” “Burning Down the House,” “And She Was,”, “During Wartime,” and “Wild, Wild, Life.”
Highlighting the best of the Talking Heads, This Must Be The Band will perform a two-hour set starting at 9pm. Doors will open at 8pm. Ticket prices are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Purchase tickets at or by calling Camron Productions at (260) 704-1465. - Indyconcerts

"This Must Be The Band: Talking Heads Tribute @ Space"

Join This Must Be The Band at SPACE in Evanston for the ultimate Talking Heads dance party. Since the group began in May of 2007, it has been "burning down the house" throughout the Midwest. The group plays all the Talking Heads' greatest hits, from "Once in a Lifetime" and "Psycho Killer" to "Burning Down the House." - Goldstar

"This Must Be The (Best Cover) Band!"

Tuesday, 25 August 2009 18:00
This Must Be The (best cover) Band!
Written by Jason Evans
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Last Friday at Durty Nellie's in Palatine, Talking Heads cover band This Must Be the Band showed the audience just how much fun a concert should be. Lead singer and David Byrne's long lost son, Charlie Otto, took the stage in a kimono, channeling Byrne's quirkiness in everything he does.

Last Friday at Durty Nellie's in Palatine, Talking Heads cover band This Must Be the Band showed the audience just how much fun a concert should be. As a cover band, they take on the persona of the band very well. As a group of musicians, they have become very tight over their two years of playing concerts together. All of this combined for probably the most fun I've had at a concert all year.

One of the things I love about this band is that their passion for the Talking Heads is on display for the entire 3 ½ hours that they are playing. Yes, the show is really a marathon session. The band took the stage around 11:30 and played clear on till 3am, with only a short break in the middle for everyone to catch their breath.

Lead singer and David Byrne's long lost son, Charlie Otto, took the stage in a kimono, channeling Byrne's quirkiness in everything he does. He sings like him, talks like him, walks like him, dances around the stage with the backup dancers like him...he even kind of looks like a young Byrne.

Otto is not the only show on the stage, and what a crowded stage it is. Up front with him are the beautiful and talented backup singers Kasey Foster and Leah Karabenick, both of whom were a flurry of energy and did not stop dancing the entire show, including a trip through the crowd. The excitement the band has on stage really feeds the crowd and vice-versa. An honorable mention must go to percussionist Pat Sweeney, perhaps the hardest working man on stage that night.

This Must Be the Band has a great catalog to draw from, mixing up rare Talking Heads songs with the more popular songs and throwing in a few Byrne solo songs for good measure. Something that surprised me about this band was their joy from having people shout out songs for them to play (thanks for playing "Road to Nowhere"). Otto seems to love it, and especially gets a kick out of people who call for songs that have already been played.

Next up for This Must Be the Band is their two-year anniversary show at Martyr's, Saturday August 29th. Lead singer Charlie Otto's band Savvy will be opening the show, playing for the first time ever. Following that, they will be at the Cubby Bear North on Saturday September 12th, and Joe's on Weed Street Friday, October 9th. If you're only going to see one more show this year, then This Must Be the Band!
- Buzz Magazine

"Review: This Must Be The Band @ The Vic, 9/30/11"

It may not have been the actual Talking Heads on stage last night but it was hard to tell the difference. This Must Be the Band burned down the house (so to speak) Friday night with their recreation of the live concert film (and album) Stop Making Sense at the Vic. The recreation was so on point it was hard to tell the difference between the film and concert. As he mentioned after the show, it was obvious Charlie Otto watched the movie everyday for a month.

The crowd was full of Talking Heads fans young and old, toddlers to grandmothers (yes, I saw a grandmother and a toddler at the show). No matter how old they were, everyone enjoyed themselves dancing and singing at the top of their lungs. Just like the film, the show began slowly with "David Byrne" (aka Charlie Otto) singing "Psycho Killer" with his acoustic guitar and a boombox. The rest of the band was slowly brought in through the remainder of the show and soon the entire house was rocking to "This Must Be The Place."

Once the band finished their recreation of the film they came right back on stage to continue playing until they were "kicked out" of the Vic. Ad-libbing the entire rest of the show by taking requests from the audience couldn't have made a better ending to the night. It was clear the real Talking Heads fans appreciated This Must Be The Band's dedication to bringing to life a band everyone enjoys.

- Gapers Block

"Covering Their Bases This Must Be The Band: How to get an oversized suit and ruin your favorite movie"

by Evan Minsker October 8, 2010

More Covering Their Bases

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Brian Eno
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This Must Be The Band: Talking Heads Tribute
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This Must Be The Band: Talking Heads Tribute

Cover bands. Say what you will about them, but unlike their more successful and famous counterparts, they’ll always play the hits and won’t be snobby assholes about it. In Covering Their Bases, The A.V. Club asks a cover band to weigh in on a contentious issue regarding the reason for its existence. In this edition, Charlie Otto, the “David Byrne” of Talking Heads tribute band This Must Be The Band, discusses recreating Stop Making Sense. The film will be staged, choreography and all, by the band at Park West on Oct. 9.

The A.V. Club: How much have you studied Stop Making Sense?

Charlie Otto: Before the first time we did it, I took three months and I didn’t really do anything else. I’ve probably watched it at least 100 times. I have to know everyone’s parts and everyone’s costumes, so I’ve done countless hours of studying and organizing and stuff like that.

AVC: After watching it 100 times, do you hate it?

CO: It’s purely educational at this point for me, you know? It’s a job. I really like putting the show on, but I wouldn’t sit down and watch it for fun. Well...maybe I would.

AVC: It’s person-for-person a recreation of the show?

CO: Yes. Everything will be the same, except in the film they push out the instruments and move the stage around. The stage isn’t big enough, so we won’t be doing that.

AVC: If you got some more money and more space, like a big theater, would you do the elaborate stage movements?

CO: Yeah, we’re trying to look for any venue that has wings on the side of the stage.

AVC: Where did you get the suit?

CO: I had a woman make it for me, because the pants had to be tailored. There’s nobody big enough for the pants. And the jacket we bought at a thrift store, because there’s tons of huge, huge jackets at thrift stores for some reason. But then we altered that to make the shoulders more square and the lapels a little bit smaller.

AVC: Do you have to affect your Byrne voice, or is that how you naturally sing?

CO: Yeah. I didn’t really plan on singing when I started the band—I planned on playing guitar. So I started looking on Craigslist for people in general, and then I just realized that it’s a very specialized thing to ask for on Craigslist. Like, “Hey, does anyone know how to sing like David Byrne?” So I just worked on it myself. I don’t normally sing like that.

AVC: Do you feel left out during the Tom Tom Club portion of the show?

CO: No man, I’m changing! [Laughs.] It takes some time to get into the big suit. That’s why he had to go, too. I’m not sure how interested David Byrne was in getting a Tom Tom Club song involved in the show, but I’m pretty sure he just needed some time to change.

AVC: How much of the Talking Heads catalog do you guys know?

CO: We know 70 songs. That includes a few David Byrne songs, the Tom Tom Club song, and a couple others—some Brian Eno stuff. This is a bad thing, but the last two albums they made? I just bought them the other day. We know two or three off each of those, but we’ve gotta learn more.

AVC: Do you feel like the last two albums are the least essential of the band’s discography?

CO: It depends on who you’re playing for. But either way, we’re just doing what we want. That’s about it. I don’t want to force the band to play anything that they don’t want to play too much. Those songs—I’ve got to give them a few more listens—but they’re not what I listen to when I listen to the Talking Heads.

AVC: What’s your favorite album?

CO: Remain In Light. And we recreated that in May, and that was my favorite show we ever did. And that took 22 people on stage. So much fun.

AVC: Do you have anything in common with David Byrne?

CO: I know that we’re both huge bikers, and that’s what he goes around talking about a lot.

AVC: If anything goes downhill with This Must Be The Band, will you start a David Byrne solo act?

CO: [Laughs.] I absolutely should. I should start it now. I’ll get totally different people. [Laughs.] - AV Club

"This Must Be the Band: 30 September 2011 - Chicago"

Since 2007 Chicago tribute group This Must Be the Band (TMBTB) have paid homage to Talking Heads, and only Talking Heads. You may be thinking how can anyone accurately represent Talking Heads? They were one of those special bands who surface but once in a lifetime. From my perspective Talking Heads were ahead of their time in their heyday, and arguable no one has caught up to them. With that in mind TMBTB must be good unless they would not be worth reading about, right?

TMBTB are no novelty tribute band. Rather they are a collective of talented musicians who embrace the eclectic energy of the music. It is unlikely that the original Talking Heads will ever reunite and that is where TMBTB come in: they charge fans with infectious funky grooves that are impossible to ignore, keeping the music alive and well.

On Friday September 30, 2011 TMBTB sold-out the Vic Theatre in Chicago with the fourth annual live reenactment of Talking Heads’ legendary 1984 rockumentary Stop Making Sense. At 9:30pm a crowd of 1,400 people faced a bare stage, minus one lone mic. The house lights dimmed and front man Charlie Otto strolled onstage carrying a boombox in his left hand and an acoustic guitar slung around his right shoulder. Bearing a striking resemblance to a young David Byrne, Otto wore a two-piece slate-cream suit and white tennis shoes. He approached the mic, surveyed the crowd and set down the boombox. In his best Byrne timbre he said: “Hi. I got a tape I wanna play.”

Otto hit play and an electric drumbeat sputtered from the P.A. He strummed over the beat on his guitar to the tune of “Psycho Killer”, the opening number from Stop Making Sense. Fans were ready for everyone sang along in unison, and even added extra “oh oh ohhhh ei ei ei eiiii’s” to the chorus as one.

At the end of “Psycho Killer” Otto was joined onstage by the Tina Weymouth of the evening, bassist Jamie Jay. Adoring a khaki onesie-wrap, Jay warmly smiled at Otto and together they played the tarnished beauty “Heaven”. During the song back-up vocalist/dancer Tawney Newsome, standing in for Lynn Mabry, sang harmonies from backstage. Her physical absence confused a few newbies while adding celestial color to the song.

Towards the end of “Heaven” the stage crew wheeled a drum set perched atop a raised platform onstage. Drummer Larry Beers posed as Talking Heads’ Chris Frantz appeared sporting a bright blue polo shirt and a wig to match Frantz’s quaff. “Heaven” faded out, and as a trio Beers, Jay and Otto rolled into “Thank You for Sending an Angel”. The remaining core member Scott Harres, disguised as guitarist/keyboardist Jerry Harrison, entered stage fourth for “Found a Job”.

As the first set rolled on gear and instruments were gradually introduced to the stage. The show unfolded in phases creating an unconventional live music experience bordering on performance art. Back up vocalists/dancers Newsome and Kesey Foster (as Ednah Holt) surfaced with percussionist Drew Littell (representing Steve Scales) for the funked up synthsation “Slippery People”. The tune featured complex polyrhythmic beats demonstrating the power behind TMBTB’s rhythm section. Reacting to the beats were Foster and Newsome with animated, erratic rhythms set with whirling and twirling on the left edge of the stage. The song’s playful, agitated new wave funk grabbed the venue’s attention and commanded everyone to dance.

Final members Jim Dinou on synthesizer as Bernie Worrell and Brian Adams on guitar as Alex Weir joined the party for the hit “Burning Down the House”. For the first time that evening, the once empty stage was occupied by nine musicians, all of whom ran and bounced in place while playing without missing a beat.

Set one ended with crowd favorite “Life During Wartime”. Otto abandoned his guitar allowing him to roll around and twitch on stage, exactly like Byrne in the film. He proceeded to exercise his will to live through wartime with a series of aerobic drills. He did jumping jacks through the chorus, and jogged circles around the stage with Foster and Newsome during a synthesizer breakdown. While the three were running through the battlefields the rest of the band played as if their lives depended on it. At the conclusion of the song Otto said: “Thank you. Does anybody have any questions?”

The band was on fire having perfected every detail of the film right down to technical dexterity, hair cuts, dialogs and mannerisms. They were no amateurs for they returned to the stage in a blink wearing new costumes that matched the film. Otto returned with slicked back hair and picked up an electric guitar. Eventually they added sentiment with “This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)”, the song that influenced TMBTB’s name. As a family Jay, Otto, Foster, Newsome and Adams stood in a horizontal lineup near the front of the stage. Placed in front of Otto was a tone of home, a tall thin floor lamp with a comforting sepia glow. Otto suavely danced with the lamp through the bridge, dipping and swaying to the main theme.

My personal favorite moment of the evening was an interlude with the Tom Tom Club, a Talking Heads branch of band that featured Weymouth and Frantz. Tom Tom Club’s tones ditched the worldly, art funk sound of Talking Heads and experimented with more dance-ready hip hop beats. Their hit “Genius of Love” made it into the final cut of Stop Making Sense, originally providing Byrne time to change costumes.

Jay took the lead vocals on “Genius of Love” and absolutely killed it. She strutted around the stage with playful angelic mischief, matched by funky flirtatious bass lines. Jay approached the mic and every lyric with sheer conviction making her role quite believable. Foster and Newsome backed her up with vocals and synchronized dances, as Beers drove a steady beat and interjected with sharp “chaaa’s” and “ohhh’s.” TMBTB transitioned back into the Talking Heads with the new wave funk of “Girlfriend is Better”, featuring the infamous oversized suit. After snapping a few of the suit I succumbed to the music, ditched my camera and started to dance.

Stop Making Sense came to an end with “Cross Eyed and Painless” which began with a reprise of the main guitar melody. TMBTB were so on top of detail that they brought Stop Making Sense to an official close with two bonus songs that appear after the film on DVD “Big Business/I Zimbra” and “Cities”. Instead of leaving the audience pumped up on kinetic energy TMBTB returned with an extra hour dedicated to audience requests.

In total TMBTB threw down three hours of almost uninterrupted Talking Heads delights all while running, jumping, kicking and skipping to the beats. As people filed out of the Vic dancing ensued in the streets of Sheffield Ave. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, including evenings of spectacular music.

- Pop Matters


Still working on that hot first release.



“This Must Be the Band” is Chicago’s only and therefore best Talking Heads Tribute Band; they only play Talking Heads music, and, if possible, 3 to 4 hours at a time.

They formed in May 2007 on Craigslist and played the coveted pizza joint circuit, the most notable of which was the city-famous Piece Pizza in Wicker Park. Since then, they have expanded east to NYC and west to Boise, ID
(yes, THAT Boise, ID).

They have two main dishes on their menu: the first is a succulent “All-Request Show,” with a generous helping of audience participation, flavored
slightly by improvisation. The second is the hailed “Stop Making Sense Re-Creation,” where they perform note-for-note and prop-for-prop the famous Talking Heads concert film from 1984. In 2011, they performed this show
to a sold-out crowd at the Vic Theatre in Chicago.

This Must be the Band is extremely happy to play Talking Heads music night after night because the music is just that much fun. Not only has the lead singer (Charlie Otto) been called “the illegitimate son of David Byrne,” but the band boasts its very own Tina Weymouth (Jamie Jay), Bernie Worrell (Jim Dinou), Adrian Belew (covered by both Otto and Dinou), and Ednah Holt (Kasey Foster).

TMBTB is available for any gathering where people need to dance: parties, weddings, festivals, bars, etc.