Strange, mad celebration...
David Bowie has just stepped off the stage at the Rod Laver Arena, and, as ever, the very lovely Charly has come through with the goods. Apparently David was back in the familiar stage outfit that he's been wearing throughout A reality Tour. It seems the Zoot may have been a one off.
During the band introduction after Heathen David, accompanied by the band, sang Happy Birthday to Gerry. I have to hold up my hands and admit I'm not sure if it is actually Gerry's birthday, (can't find anything online) or whether this was just some kind of private joke?
In the event that it is Gerry's birthday, perhaps you should take a look at yesterday's news and go get a Spooky CD and Screwdriver for his birthday fund!
Anyway, here's the 30-song set list, which I have to say is one of the best of the tour I've seen so far:
Melbourne February 26th 2004
01 Rebel Rebel
02 New Killer Star
06 All The Young Dudes
07 China Girl
08 Hang Onto Yourself
09 The Loneliest Guy
10 The Man Who Sold The World
11 Pablo Picasso
12 Hallo Spaceboy
14 Heathen (The Rays)
15 Under Pressure
16 Life On Mars?
17 Slip Away
18 Looking For Water
22 White Light, White Heat
23 Ashes To Ashes
24 Panic In Detroit
25 I'm Afraid of Americans
27 Try Some Buy Some
28 Five Years
29 Suffragette City
30 Ziggy Stardust
UPDATE: Here's Charly's report
Sell Me A Coat, er, Stylophone. By Charly.
Well - David Bowie rocked the roof off the Rod Laver Arena last night. Melbourne fans were excited, and they had good reason to be. Dressed in the trademark tour jeans and "metal world" t-shirt, the show started in the familiar way, Bowie was chatty and in good spirits. After Fame he looked down at a girl in the front row on the right and said "What a nice tiara. There's a girl down here wearing a tiara". I didn't notice exactly what he'd seen myself.
He decided to ask us all who we were after Reality, looking down "So, what did you say your names were? Pass it on like Chinese whispers. Oh, Derek!" Continuing with All The Young Dudes and China Girl, Bowie then gave us another Eurovision kiss saying, "I don't actually know what Eurovision is but I heard some of you talking about it before we came on".
Hang Onto Yourself was welcome, one of my personal favourites, mad and frantic before taking the tempo down with The Loneliest Guy. David announced: "there's a free copy of Reality under every seat in the building". Strange, I couldn't find mine ;-) Then we got a few regulars, including Heathen which was good to hear again. Leading into the band intro David said "It's times like this I feel I should introduce my band. But this time is an exception. I'm gonna introduce you to my band."
When he got round to Gerry they leapt into Happy Birthday - one can only surmise it was his birthday. After Under Pressure David looked up at the back of the arena, "I can see all of you at the back, the very top. You don't believe me do you?" He then proceeded to describe a red cardigan he could see with a butterfly embroidered on it, pointing up towards the back row. "Not you, the one next to you there."
Life On Mars was yet again, outstanding. The one song that could always guarantee a standing ovation (if we weren't standing already). Slip Away was great, David knelt down on the platform right in front of me. Clutching his Stylophone he said, "I like these, they're called Stylophones and I've got 7 or 8 with me." He advised us he would be selling them after the show round the back and that he didn't want to set a price now, but that he would sort it later. Heh heh.
After Looking For Water we got a couple of oldies, with him teasing: "When's he gonna do an old one again? Well it might be now mightn't it? What's the chances? (not a lot of noise from the crowd) You've gone all shy." Starman followed with a polite David saying "thank you, how ya doing, all right? Good evening, I'm David Bowie and this is my band!"
Quicksand was excellent, better than the first time he did it, sounded a bit more together. The practice had obviously paid off. Then David got all nostalgic. "I sometimes feel I wrote this song for so many people. It's a new song, I hope you like it, it's called Days." The next 3 songs livened things up a bit with Panic In Detroit being another welcome addition (hope he keeps that in for a while now). "We've had a really lovely evening here tonight", then 2 more songs before the encores. Try Some Buy Some was back in tonight before the familiar 3 show enders.
30 songs later, the time had flown, certainly didn't seem like I'd been there for two and a half hours. Managed to get Bowie's set list off the platform too, courtesy of Tristan The Hobbit.
A Reality Tour continues with a second show at the Rod Laver Arena tomorrow, Friday 27th.
NB: I have it on good authority that it actually WAS Gerry's birthday.
UPDATE #2: Here's a retrospective report of the same show from BowieNetter maeko.qinza... written tomorrow and illustrated with one of her excellent shots from the gig.
BowieNetters can click on David's scarf for more of maeko's pictures on the MBs.
The last time I had so much fun at any concert was probably the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2002. Last night in Melbourne, it was completely ballistic - dancing, jumping and singing along to every song with the people around me. Like the Chili Peppers, I was right up front against the barrier - but this time it was so close I could touch David's shoes.
I just couldn't believe it that he was just standing less than a meter away from me singing Life On Mars?. All night, it was just this overwhelming feeling that this man right there was the man who has brought so much into my life through his music. I was feeling rather helpless in a way that there was no way I could thank him just by being in the crowd. I think at one stage he recognised me from Rove because he looked directly into my eyes, pointed at me and bnetter iwishiwasiman and I pointed at him too and sang along with him to Reality. We were stoked.
My personal highlight was probably during all the Ziggy songs. Let me make something clear to you, David! You said that Ziggy means nothing to kids these days. He means everything to me. I'm 19 years old, but it was Ziggy that changed everything for me. The beginning of my Bowie fandom was very reminiscent of those kids in the early 70s. He changed my life and the way I saw things. During Starman - it was like I was at Top Of The Pops, dancing along like those kids in the background (but not so dodgy looking, I hope).
During Hang On To Yourself, Suffragette City and Ziggy Stardust - it was like I was at Hammersmith Odeon. Like those crazy girls in the front with their arms flapping everywhere. I used to just watch the Ziggy Stardust Motion Picture and be in tears by the end of it feeling sad that I wasn't there to experience such a thing. But last night, even though there was no fancy outfits and make-up, it was the same man. And for that, I felt I was experiencing exactly the same thing. For Five Years - I absolutely cried. I managed to get his pick that he used to play it with and it means so much to me. One of the very first Bowie songs I learned to play on guitar too!
Ok, enough about me! Last night was also Gerry Leonard's birthday so he got a Happy Birthday song from all of us! Gail Ann Dorsey was also really stoked to be playing at the home of the Australia Open that she brought in one of those big tennis balls to show everyone. At one stage David cut his finger or something and made this really funny sad face at the crowd and everyone was just going "Awwwwwww..."
For those interested (and I know there are many), he didn't wear the Zoot suit. It was back to the black jacket with tail with that crinkly silvery jacket underneath, metal world t-shirt, tight black pants and that BELT.
We had a fantastic 30 song setlist and David captured the entire crowd with his lovely on-stage patter. He just kept playing the songs I really wanted him to play. One after the other. I just got so hypo! All he needs to do now is Breaking Glass ;).
It was yet another great night with my Bowie friends and meeting new people every night is just amazing. It has been said many times before but I'll say it again - just one man can bring so many people together, and so much joy into their lives.
Thank you so much David. See you again tonight!