Meymandi Concert Hall, Progress Energy Center—It's unsettling to imagine the landscape of modern music without the influences of Brian Eno and David Byrne, two of rock music's most productive and prolific minds. Separately and together, Byrne and Eno have been fearless experimenters. Sure, they've sometimes failed, but their trials have altered a startling array of genres, from beat-driven electronica (see the collaborative My Life in the Bush of Ghosts) and experimental ambience (see Eno's Music for Airports and his Obscure label) to ornate pop (see every Talking Heads record and Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy) and all kinds of post-rock (Eno's collaborations with Cluster, Harold Budd and the definitive No Pussyfooting with Robert Fripp).
Or, if that map of influence seems daunting, settle in for Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, the pair's first collaboration since Eno produced 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. A lush, thoughtfully written and smartly arranged modern pop gem, Everything stares down the snake oils and naysayers of the world to arrive at this substantial existential credo: "One sad day I will fly away/ And one sad day I will tip toe away." That is, live now, not later. Indeed, Everything only happened because Eno, 60, and Byrne, 56, decided to shove their differences aside and finish several unwritten tunes. Like last year's Comicopera by Robert Wyatt, it gives new, urgent life to old voices.
Appropriately, it was self-released in the model established last year by Radiohead, a band that's long taken cues, sonically and ideologically, from this pair. Byrne performs tracks from Everything and from his own catalog with a big live band and dancers at 8 p.m. Tickets are $44. —Grayson Currin