Bowie opens in Denver
Image: Mark Plati
Read 'em pal and grin
The Colorado newspapers are fast with their copy! By Sunday morning 5.00am, USA 'Mountain Time', there were already two glowing reviews of the most recent show on the Area: 2 tour available. The Denver Post said:- "The Area:2 tour is energy in its purest form. ...on top of all the bass, there was David Bowie, statuesque and sexy, encoring with "Ziggy Stardust" to the disbelief of many of his fans. Bowie, looking dashing as ever in a white button-down, a muted black vest and an undone tie strung around his neck, began his set with "Life on Mars?" from 1972's "Hunky Dory."
Image: Mark Plati
He was affable and praised Denver for having the single-best bookstore in North America (he must have visited Tattered Cover earlier in the day)... There's something convincing, almost inspiring, about the way Bowie grips the microphone while singing "Ashes to Ashes," "Heroes" or "China Girl." "Fame's" perverse bassline and Dali-like vocals still hold up powerfully, as do the unforgettable verses of "Ziggy Stardust."
The Daily Camera focused at first on the diversity of the audience at the shows, and said:- "Area: 2 headliners David Bowie, Busta Rhymes and the Blue Man Group entertained a curious cross-section of today's CD-buying demographic ? complete with punk rockers, rave kids, glamour girls and old-time rock fans. "
'Ashes To Ashes' : db and just two of the 'gazillion' guitarists'
Image: Mark Plati
Discussing David's set, they had this to say:- "Backed by a young band with a gazillion guitarists and looking slick as ever in a black vest and a flying mop of hair, Bowie entertained with a nice selection of older hits ("Ashes to Ashes,""China Girl," "Heroes" and "Fashion"), plus tastes of material from his newest CD, Heathen ("Slip Away" and "Waiting for You"). His show was tight and polished.... A consummate showman, he closed with a pair of sparkling oldies ? "Let's Dance" and "Ziggy Stardust."" This is the second journalist to describe David as 'consummate' . The definition of this word is 'supremely skilled'.... I couldn't agree more.
The Rocky Mountain News were not quite so quick off the mark, but they did have a story Friday covering a telephone interview David gave recently from New York. With reference to some of his past work, he talked about "trying to widen the vocabulary of rock by utilizing other aspects of the arts," but had this to add when discussing the current tour, "There's no art involved in this one. It's just a bloke singing songs - a nice pair of trousers and a bloody good band." And on being nominated for the Mercury Prize:- "..I was thrilled. All the other nominees are 13 years old. Hey, look at this old guy go! I was really chuffed about that."
The same paper did catch up this morning however, with this review of the show, which was well worth waiting for. They said:- "both Moby and David Bowie easily gave some of the peak performances of their careers... Bowie opened with an exuberant Life On Mars, delivered in superb voice to an ecstatic crowd. He chose wisely from his new album, Heathen, delivering those songs with ultimate confidence... Charming and effusive, he worked through a swath of his career, from a crunching, hard-edged Fame to a loping, energetic Heroes to the final cut, the definitive live version of Ziggy Stardust that left the crowd breathless and stunned. I'm Afraid Of Americans took on an otherworldly air in light of the past year, with fans cheering the lines "I'm afraid of Americans / I'm afraid of the world."
Once again, David was joking with the crowd and telling stories about his days on the road. It seems he had the tour bus stop in Nebraska to try and get hold of a "Jackalope" for the hood of the bus. Unfortunately they were all out. Maybe he should have tried Jackalope Junction. ;-) He praised Denver for its famous bookstore, 'The Tattered Cover' where he said he spent 19 hours. When drinking from his mug, he announced that his mouth was so dry he could lay down carpeting with his tongue, then said he wasn't sure quite what that meant but it "sounded good". The crowd were very hot for David last night, with great choruses of 'Bowie', 'Bowie', 'Bowie' going up to persuade him to come back for encores. When he returned to the stage to grant their wish, he opened the encores with 'A New Career In A New Town', and told the audience it was "pre-Dance Tent". (Thanks again, Simone)
Life On Mars?
Ashes To Ashes
I'm Afraid Of Americans
I've Been Waiting For You
5:15 The Angels Have Gone
Heathen (The Rays)
A New Career In A New Town
Everyone Says Hi
We will bring you further reviews for all the shows on this tour in a round-up later this week. In the meantime, I leave you with this shot, once again from Mark Plati, of the view from the tour bus as it leaves Denver for the West Coast.
(Thanks again SusanS)