"A volatile musical cocktail: shrieking sonic maelstroms, poignant ancientballads, deep jungle grooves, startling duets." That's how the San FranciscoChronicle described DAVID BOWIE's spectacular50th birthday concert.
Billed as "DAVID BOWIE and FRIENDS: A Very Special Birthday Concert," thesold-out New York show and benefit forSave The Childrenwill air as a Pay Per View television event Saturday, March 8 at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT and11:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT, with other replays through March 15. A portion ofthe proceeds from this Pay Per View event will also benefitSave The Children.
The two-hour-plus 24-song show, directed by Tim Pope, finds DAVID BOWIEbacked by his band--guitarist Reeves Gabrels; keyboardist Mike Garson; bassist Gail Ann Dorsey and drummer Zachary Alford--and joined by an arrayof truly special guests at different points throughout the concert:Frank Black(former leader of thePixies),Smashing PumpkinsBilly Corgan,Foo Fighters,Lou Reed,Robert Smith of theCure andSonic Youth.
Writing in the New York Daily News, Jim Farber said the show "kept one eyefirmly on the future. Instead of simply serving up dewey-eyed rehashes ofsounds from eras dead and gone, BOWIE--aided by an ornery mix of musicalfriends--shook classic numbers to their core. He also devoted roughlyone-third of the show to recent and brand new material."
At the show, BOWIE opened up with the first single from his newly releasedVirgin albumEARTHLING, "Little Wonder," whose "arrangement had the feel andsound of many of his classics," wrote the New York Post's Dan Aquilante. Fromthere, BOWIE was joined by Frank Black for "Scary Monsters" and "Fashion." Foo Fighters came onstage for Outside's "Hallo Spaceboy" (which featuredthree drummers including the Fighters' frontman Dave Grohl) and EARTHLING's"Seven Years In Tibet." Next: Robert Smith joined for EARTHLING's "The LastThing You Should Do" and the Hunky Dory chestnut "Quicksand," performedacoustically with both BOWIE and SMITH on vocals and guitars. Later,feedback heroes Sonic Youth charged into EARTHLING's "I'm Afraid ofAmericans." Bowie brought Lou Reed onstage, introducing him as "the King ofNew York," launching into Hunky Dory's "Queen Bitch," the VelvetUnderground's "I'm Waiting For The Man" and "White Light White Heat" andReed's "Dirty Boulevard." Billy Corgan came on for the BOWIE classic "AllThe Young Dudes" and "The Jean Genie," playing guitar and singing. BOWIEclosed the show intimately, singing "Space Oddity" alone, as 14,500 fanscheered him on.
"I always promised myself that I wouldn't be on a stage playing rock musicwhen I'm 50," Dave Grohl told Rolling Stone. "But when I see DAVID BOWIE sohappy and alive, and still so creative, I'm like, 'I don't want to stop.'" And Billy Corgan commented to Rolling Stone, "On the one hand, he'scelebrating his body of work tonight, but he's also saying, 'Look, I'm stillhere. This isn't an oldies act.'"
"I wouldn't have expected to have such an appetite for life at this point,"BOWIE himself told the New York Daily News. "I had assumed, like romanticpoetic heroes, that I would burn it all out. But nothing has been quenched. I'm still feeling fiery."
SAVE THE CHILDREN is a non-profit,non-sectarian, non-political international development and relief organizationfounded in 1932. It isdedicated to making lasting, positive change in the lives of disadvantagedchildren throughout the United States and in 40 developing nations. For morethan 60 years, Save The Children has been a leader in early childhoodeducation, economic opportunity, preventive health care and emergencyresponse. Today, their programs reach 1.5 million children and their familiesthroughout the world.