David Bowie kicked off his UK leg of the “Reality” World tour in Manchester on Monday Novemeber 17th with a show that can be summed up in one word Breathtaking…..
The tour continues taking in Birmingham, Wembley and Glasgow.
Arenas are not known for their amazing sound systems, but whatever the hell this lot had done on Monday was amazing. From the first notes played by the band on “Rebel Rebel” to the last on “Ziggy Stardust” you would have thought you were in a much smaller venue.
Bowie and the band played a 23 set gig that really highlighted the fact that they have been playing as a unit for some time now. The stage, as has been favour for some time now, was very minimalist, with two ramps on either side of the main stage, a HUGE video screen behind the band and five smaller screens almost to the ceiling. The only other decoration came from a few twigs(?) that were suspended from the lighting rig.
The entire show was superb, but particular highlights were “The Man who Sold the World”, “Ashes to Ashes”, “Five Years” “I’m Afraid of Americans” (Oh so very topical!) and dare I say it “Loving the Alien” which was just Bowie and his guitarist. Wonderfully Sublime! “Under Pressure” was also performed with bassist Gail Ann Dorsey taking the other lead vocal – who has the bizzarest dress sense – and this went down exeptional well with the young lady sat next to me.
Never having lost his touch to make crowds eat out of his hand, we were told about Bowie’s excursion into the local House of Fraser for a raincoat, how nice it was to be back in the UK, how Europe treated him, even when introducing the band you get the feeling that rehersals must be a blast!
Line of the evening “Come ON!! Wake up you lot…your grandads here!!!”
My only real complaint was the lack of new material from the new album..where was Pablo Picasso? Disco King? All new “classics” but no sign? It must be hard having a back catalogue of suck brilliance with the exception of my pet hate “China Girl”. And 23 songs?? Come on Bowie…all that hard work, surely you could have done 30?
The papers have been riddled with reviews for the show, most very favourable… but here is a snippet of my favourite.. and I think it says it all….
“If anyone doubts that Bowie looks fantastic too, five TV screens dazzle with his image. His Low-era haircut has been transplanted onto the body of a 24-year-old, while the creaking jeans reveal the bits that were once hurriedly airbrushed off the sleeve of Diamond Dogs.”
01 Rebel Rebel
02 New Killer Star
07 China Girl
08 The Loneliest Guy
09 The Man Who Sold The World
10 Hallo Spaceboy
12 Under Pressure
13 Life On Mars?
14 Ashes To Ashes
15 The Motel
16 Loving The Alien
17 Never Get OId
19 I’m Afraid Of Americans
21 Five Years
22 Suffragette City
23 Ziggy Stardust
Want to read even more, get your ass down to the excellent website…..