David Bowie strips for action at the Bercy last night.
Does he fly like Mr. Superman, speak Chinese, French and Dutch?*
David Bowie's A Reality Tour rolled into Paris last night, for the first of two dates at the Bercy. David was in high spirits, peppering the evening with displays of his perfect command of French with, for example, the announcement of 5:15 The Angels Have Gone as "cinq fifteen The Angels Have Gone"!
David Bowie removes even more clobber... where will it end?
The set list was almost identical to Saturday's Frankfurt show, but with the addition of DB's and Gerry's beautiful re-working of Loving The Alien to the main set, and the ommision of Slip Away and Pablo Picasso from the encore. Here's the full 25-song set:
Paris October 20th 2003
01 The Jean Genie
02 New Killer Star
05 China Girl
06 Fall Dog Bombs The Moon
07 Hallo Spaceboy
09 Under Pressure
10 White Light, White Heat
11 Ashes To Ashes
13 Never Get Old
14 The Motel
15 5:15 The Angels Have Gone
16 Loving The Alien
17 Battle For Britain (The Letter)
18 I'm Afraid Of Americans
20 Heathen (The Rays)
21 Bring Me The Disco King
23 Let's Dance
24 Suffragette City
25 Ziggy Stardust
"But we can move like tigers on Vaseline"
The Times and The Financial Times in the UK have published the following review by Paul Sexton, which I have illustrated with a few more of my snaps:
Never motivated by half-measures, David Bowie's first world tour proper since 1995 has 17 countries in its sights over a seven-month campaign. On record, too, he is in his most productive form for a decade, with a fine new album, Reality.
The tour arrived in France this week, eight shows into a 32-date European leg that comes to Britain in mid-November. Bowie is 56, but has an almost teenage enthusiasm and vigour. Rarely can a rock legend have been sighted having such brazen fun with his own past without descending into nostalgia for its own sake.
"OK you lot, hands up those of you that think you can catch me."
The vast Palais Omnisports, an 18,000-capacity sellout, is the kind of hangar in which good entertaining intentions can fade. But with the sonic choreography of a brilliantly cohesive band, a 135-minute concert became an intimate party.
Encouraged by the arch-chameleon's own use of the word "reality", much has been made of the absence of theatrical artifice in his present persona. If this is indeed the real David Bowie, he's as congenial a host as you'd wish to meet, popping out for random house calls on his previous characters as the old friends he now considers them to be.
"And on vocals and guitar... no it's not Brian Setzer... David Bowie!"
Hence a storming start with "Jean Genie", the lean and elegant frontman blowing some edgy harmonica, and a chunky "Fame", punctuated by "New KillerStar".
Way above the stage, five small video screens offered a sparing selection of pre-filmed images and effects, as "China Girl", "Ashes To Ashes", "Fashion" and other classics were happily assimilated amid the recent "Cactus", "The Motel" and the after-hours jazz sophistication of "Bring Me The Disco King".
The audience at Bercy get the point last night in Paris.
The closing "Suffragette City" and "Ziggy Stardust" were presented with affection, not obligation, by an artist who has introduced his past to his future with compelling effect.
Good stuff, eh? Stay tuned for more pictures and the set list from tonight's second show sometime tomorrow.
* Well, two out of four ain't bad.