No one knew what they could do, Except for me and you...
As hinted at in his latest journal entry, David Bowie was joined onstage by
A Reality Tour reached the Berkeley Community Centre in San Francisco for what sounds like a very special evening. Each time I post pictures and set lists from shows on this tour that I wasn't present at, it saddens me that I wasn't actually there myself... particularly on nights like last night.
The Polyphonic Spree do seem to have split the opinion of audiences on this tour, but regular visitors to these pages will know I'm a convert and my opinion couldn't be any clearer. I think they are magical, and the thought of them joining David Bowie onstage for one of my favourite Bowie songs of recent years has turned me greener than Tim DeLaughter's robe in the picture above!
As if that isn't bad enough (or wonderful enough if you were there), David also kept to the other promise of his recent journal when he performed the 1971 classic from TMWSTW, The Supermen. Not only is it the first time he's performed it on this tour, but it's the first time he's performed it at a live show in a jolly long time.
Another memorable moment was shortly after Heathen when David handed out several pairs of earplugs to people in the front, due to the unusual positioning of the speakers for last night's show. Apparently there was much fun as David was sent toing and froing to fetch more earplugs.
One favour I do ask of any returning friends who were at last night's show... Please don't talk to me about it, or I may have to resort to extreme physical violence or even murder! };-)
As ever, we've updated the Virtual Ticket section with lots more of Erik's shots, including a few more of David with the Spree.
Here's the 27-song set list phoned in by Susans and officially confirmed by a mildly upset HNB, who is sulking with me for describing his pictorial contributions as CRAP... He's obviously not familiar with that particular acronym, which stands for Camera Recorded Awesome Panoramics:
Berkeley April 16th 2004
01 Rebel Rebel
02 New Killer Star
03 Battle For Britain (The Letter)
07 All The Young Dudes
08 China Girl
09 The Supermen
10 Never Get Old
11 The Loneliest Guy
12 Modern Love
13 The Man Who Sold The World
14 Hallo Spaceboy
16 Heathen (The Rays)
17 Under Pressure
20 Ashes To Ashes
22 I'm Afraid Of Americans
24 Slip Away (With The Polyphonic Spree)
26 Suffragette City
27 Ziggy Stardust
UPDATE: Here's a report from BowieNetter Charly, entitled: Unithoughts and Twerpish Goth!
During the day, the Polyphonic Spree played their harp, and guitars in the park over the road from the venue, while some of them played Frisbee. Chilling out in the sun, watching them, was a cool way to prepare for the first of two shows at the Berkeley Community Theatre. Sterling even came out and joined them for a few minutes, playing the harp for a few seconds. Talented boy!
Bowie was wearing a plum coloured velvety coat this evening over his usual crinkled looking one. Starting with Rebel Rebel as usual, he welcomed the crowd as "you Berkeley motherfuckers" and asked "Are you having a good time so far?" New Killer Star followed and then Battle for Britain (The Letter) which was nice to hear again. After a rousing Fame, Bowie said "a spiffing evening to you all". He then spoke about the importance of The Pixies and their reformation before introducing Cactus.
Sniffing the air Bowie said knowingly, "Hmmm, I'm not the only one who's been to the botanical gardens today!" They did a great version of Fashion next before he started rambling with "You heard my Alabama pronunciation of Floooor-wah then? Don't be so forthcoming about things" He paused slightly before asking the crowd, "Would you care to forthcome with me?" I'm sure most people in the audience would answer yes to that question!!
All The Young Dudes got some hands swaying in the air, which Bowie acknowledged with "You're awfully good sports, don't ya know". That was apparently his impression of an American doing an impression of an Englishman. Before China Girl, he praised the crowd for their participation, as is the norm these days seemingly, and advised that we could join in on the next song. Then told us he would do it in Chinese! Well, he managed the first two lines, although the second ended with the lyric "dim sum" which, although I don't speak Chinese, I'm sure isn't right. Nah, back to the English version then.
"We're doing a couple of new songs tonight that we haven't done before" Bowie announced. He started talking about the 60's and sex, saying that sex hadn't existed in Britain before the sixties and that people just saw of materialised before that. "That's when I wrote this twerpish goth stuff". Ha ha, what a great way to describe "The Supermen". Kat played guitar on this one and it was excellent, he even got all the words right! Nice to hear since the last time was 1997. Bowie was rather amused by his own lyrics, particularly the Unithought. "What's a unithought? Is it like a unicycle?" (while pretending to mount a bicycle) "Here's a nice thought, I'll get on that one!"
Never Get Old was great, I always love that one, followed by The Loneliest Guy and Modern Love. Bowie told security to let people dance, "I know you're making it safe and everything but let people dance if they want to". This caused a great cheer from the crowd. "My brother, god rest his soul, he's dead now, but he used to dance in the cinema in the 50's. I'm sure we've moved on from then". Very subtle David. The next few songs were played with virtually no banter in-between. After Heathen, Bowie handed earplugs down to people in the front section, throwing the last couple of pairs in the air saying "I've got past doing my social work now". He introduced the band and told us "You don't know how silly this tour has been. We're having a ball". Good to know he's enjoying it, cos we certainly are!
Under Pressure brought the usual cheers and Days was a nice follow on, a great, mellow song. After Afraid Bowie said "There's a point in the show when I have to do a song you know, I got away with 4 then - I'm a right little artful dodger!" The crowd obliged with the "Oh no you're not", Bowie responding "Oh yes I am"...etc. Ashes to Ashes was the one we apparently knew. He obviously didn't see me singing along to The Supermen. Oh well 'o). "There's an album I made, oh, too long ago to care, called Hunky Dory" - this was the introduction to Quicksand. Then with two more songs, the first set ended, with David talking about humanity and how he was touched by it all, the reactions at shows and stuff.
The first encore was Slip Away which was a special version as he brought on the Polyphonic Spree to join in, Tim actually singing the second verse. "They've got one life to live and they're gonna fuckin' live it!" Bowie shouted. Great, and they are cool. Three more songs, and it was time to go home. Great first show, bet the second one will be different as it's the same venue. Roll on!
Tune back in tomorrow for more from Charly... thanx so much for all that, girl.
A Reality Tour continues tonight with a second show at the Berkeley Community Theatre.