Raging, raging, raging...
I know this is chronologically arse-about-face, to use the vernacular, but I really needed to get the fans reviews from the Bowie show at the Greek Theatre in LA on Thursday posted. Also, I'm sure you've all been waiting to see the pic above which I mentioned in Friday's original piece. Click on David's fist to view more of Erik's after-show shots from the Greek.
A bunch of you kindly supplied your impressions of the evening's entertainment, which I've edited a little so that members who haven't already seen them on the MBs can actually reach the end today! ;-) And so, without further ado:
Review by BowieNetter ckck:
Travelling in Seattle and L.A. this week for business I felt like I was following DB on tour but just missing him. My luck changed when at the last minute I got a ticket to the Greek Theater venue last night! Being a New Yorker and seeing DB in concert only in New York I was very excited to see him perform in L.A.
The Greek Theater is a beautiful site for a concert. The evening was clear and cool with the sun just setting when I arrived casting the last rays on the trees surrounding the theater which made an awesome sight!
Opening for DB was The Polyphonic Spree which I personally don't know except for what has been posted on this site. It was interesting to see them perform and to watch the reaction of the audience and their followers. They truly put a smile on your face and set the whole "California Mood" of the evening.
Being a fan of DB's for over 30 years I am still amazed by how he mesmerizes an audience including myself after all these years. After a technical video glitch David came wondering out on stage saying he had no time to wait for the video to be fixed since there was a curfew at the Greek Theater. From that point on it was Rock and Roll! Performing everything from Rebel Rebel to Quicksand to Cactus it was a great evening. Even though the crowd reacted to the more popular songs it was a great honour to see and hear DB perform the songs he rarely performs like Quicksand, The Supermen and The Man Who Sold The World.
Leaving the theater and going back to my hotel I had a smile on my face with the same feeling after all these years of awe and amazement. Thank you David for sharing your insight and talent with us all. See you in June at Jones Beach.
Review by BowieNetter crystaltjapan:
The Greek Theatre is an open venue in the hills surrounded by the large Grifith park which houses (among other things) The Griffith Observatory. Tall trees surrounded the outdoor venue and a Greek faÃƒÂ§ade graced the stage. Green and red lights shone on the trees in the dark which looked really gorgeous when the breeze blew through them.
The intro video started and then stopped abruptly soon after the cartoon band turned into the actual band. The whole audience was on their feet?.and waiting?.kind of murmuring, talking to each other. Bowie walked out from backstage alone and approached the mike to loud applause. He said he wasn?t going to wait for the video to start, screw it. And the other band members came out on stage and started playing Rebel Rebel.
He danced a lot! Lots of hip action. Lots of twirling. He even did a little ballet. Lots of grabbing of his crotch (the kind of movement he wouldn?t be able to do on ?The Tonight Show?) Ran down to the end of the cat walk a few times?.pointed his finger to his head like a gun and shot it during ?Fame? when he sang ?enough to drive a man into a crime?. During ?Loneliest Guy? he conjured up images of suicide looking at his wrists in amazement, and walking slowly back. When the song was over, he came up to the mike stand looking at his wrists saying ?That?s a lot of blood. You see, what I do is interpretive body movement. Every little gesture, every move?one movement of the wrist and I change the whole story. One movement of the wrist and it?s not a song about a suicidal man?it?s a man who?s remembering his mother?s first divorce.?
After ?Under Pressure? he gestured towards Gail Ann Dorsey at least four times to cue our applause, with a very ballet bow, extending the sweeping hand out and bending his knees while he bowed.
Before ?I?m Afraid of Americans? he said ?This song is about how I hate Americans. So here it goes? in a very flippant way, then before ?Heroes? he said ?And this song is about how much I loove Americans. It?s your song, and it?s our song too? with a nice grin.
Before ?Battle For Britain? he said ?What were you doing in the ?90s? Well, we were doing this?. Mike Garson added a chaotic solo to the end of "Five Years", "The Motel" was gorgeous sounding live and so sad. ?Quicksand? was amazing and inspired almost a happy tear. ?The Supermen? was amazing, and Cat played guitar during that one with all the other members of the band! The ?Sunday? -ÃƒÂ ? Heathen? thing that I?ve heard about on here was done. I?ll tell you how they did it...
Earl Slick played an awesome solo at the end of ?Sunday? then held the last note and held that note and held that note (to applause) until Gerry Leonard came in with his guitar and started ?Heathen??really amazing sounding. There was a new sound during ?Heroes? sort of a synth swoosh that repeated itself?very nice.
Bowie was very chatty and was asking about the curfew a few times (into the microphone) to someone offstage, who he said didn?t answer, so he decided to continue. During the encore when he turned and asked them about how much time they had left a stage hand put his index finger up and motioned in a circle over his head (which either means ?wrap it up? or ?go ahead?) and David said ?oh, ok, we can keep going then!?
The crowd was?well let?s face it this is the fifth time he?s been to the LA area, they were the last to get on the bandwagon?a lot of industry people?.and a lot of lookie-loos. I saw a lot of young girls trying to dance sexy to get David?s attention, a lot of guys with their girlfriends holding up their plastic cup full of beer to David instead of waving their arms along with him or singing.
But Bowie didn?t pander to this audience, he indulged himself. He looked like a kid who had lifted up the garage door and decided to play something for the neighborhood. He made no apologies?during the encore at the end of ?Slip Away? he sat on his knees front and center playing the Stylophone as Polyphonic Spree danced on stage in different colored robes. After the song was over he said ?We?ve done this a few times?I don?t know if we?ll do it again.?
I just remembered a couple more things he said: When he came out he just said he wasn't going to wait etc...then he said "Hello all you crazy mother fuckers!" (as is the norm so far) and then said "Maybe you're even the craziest!" Which was funny....then again...LA is known for being a little kooky.
Also at one point during the show he said "Ah! You're making me feel 50 again!" which brought on peals of laughter. He looked soo young!
Struggling For Reality: David Bowie At The Greek by BowieNetter Scott Spalding
Something went amiss early in the show that affected things to come, but that didn?t stop Thursday night?s concert with David Bowie at The Greek Theater in Hollywood from being an extraordinary performance by a gifted group of artists. Halfway through the introductory film of animation and time-lapse photography of New York City, the video suddenly cut out and went black. The stage was quiet for a few moments until the lights came up and Mr. Bowie himself approached the front of the stage to greet the audience with an apology for the technical glitch. He called the band on stage and they kicked off the show with "Rebel Rebel." For someone who has seen the show before, it was somewhat anticlimactic not to have the dramatic reveal of Bowie out of the shadows of the "Rebel" intro, but that didn?t dampen the spirits of this sold-out crowd.
It was a beautiful night in the Hollywood Hills under the stars, and speaking of stars, plenty were in attendance, including Brian Setzer, who was spotted in the crowd with a lovely lady on his arm. It?s been years since his Stray Cats days, but Mr. Setzer looked fit and spiffy in a sharp suit and his trademark bouffant hairdo. "Joey Soprano" was rumored to be in the crowd but that was unconfirmed.
The show got under way and in typical form, Mr. Bowie challenged his audience early on with newer material less familiar to more mature audience members. Poor Mike Garson had to jump right into one of his featured numbers ("Battle For Britain") soon after the show?s shaky start. Unfortunately, Garson?s timing against the backing tracks was off during his solo, but what could have been a train wreck ended up as little more than a few seconds of confusing dead air.
(You sure about that Scott? That song does have some strange things going on - Blammo)
Bowie was in excellent voice this evening. He also looked great, as usual, even remarking at one moment that he felt like he was 50 again! It was a treat to see not a perfect show, but in fact a very real show including many of the challenges professional performers have to deal with on stage. Bowie was conscious of Griffith Park?s 11:00pm curfew ("this curfew shit" he called it once) and he kept asking his crew if he had time to play a few more numbers, though their slow responses irritated him at times. "Come on guys, get it together! Nobody?s telling me anything, so I?ll just keep going," he said.
Bowie was also highly aware of his audience throughout the show. At one point, after a batch of newer material, he came down front and said, "I know what you?re wondering, ?When is Bowie going to play something I know??" He didn?t disappoint. The band launched into a blissful rendition of "All The Young Dudes" that kept the crowd on their feet dancing and singing the whole time. It wasn?t surprising, however, nor particularly disappointing that many audience members preferred to sit and listen during the quieter numbers. One of the great qualities of a Bowie concert is that there are plenty of crowd-pleasing Rock anthems juxtaposed gently alongside serious pieces that deserve more attentive listening. Perhaps only hardcore fans may have recognized "The Motel" or "The Loneliest Guy" but these songs were no less appreciated by casual listeners.
There was plenty of frivolity as well. Bowie started singing the Chinese version of "China Girl" but quickly stopped and restarted the band, explaining that he couldn?t remember any of his Mandarin. He also cracked jokes throughout the evening, including a quip that "The Loneliest Guy" wasn?t about a failed suicide attempt but was actually about his mother?s first divorce! There was also a touching story introducing one of the early songs (was it "The Man Who Sold The World"?), which expressed the sense of alienation Bowie felt as a teenager.
The stage video and lighting were striking as usual, though more subdued than in previous A Reality Tour performances. Gone were the overhead video screens displayed so prominently in other venues, and although the side screens at the Greek were too dim at times, they helped the mood during more ambient numbers by providing shots of Bowie in a dramatic silhouette.
Opening act The Polyphonic Spree returned to the stage in colorful robes for the first encore number, "Slip Away", though their participation was unnecessary and somewhat distracting. Bowie himself mentioned during his praise of the group that he didn?t "know if we [would] do it again" but that they were a fantastic support on the tour.
Missing from the set list was "Reality," which seems a natural crowd pleaser, and all of the Low material, which had been such a highlight of the previous LA shows. Included were more recent numbers such as "Looking For Water" from Reality and Heathen?s "Sunday" and "Heathen (The Rays)" book-ended together, as well as a few classic treats for old timers, like "Quicksand" and "The Supermen," an unnecessary addition, but quite nostalgic all the same. It was nice to hear some alternative choices from Hunky Dory but I missed "Life On Mars?" and "Changes" has yet to be performed at any of the Los Angeles shows.
No matter, Bowie & his company know how to please an audience and they did so admirably tonight with a great mix of songs new and old, well known and obscure. The crowd was mature and well behaved, and certainly appreciative.
Bowie was more than a gentleman throughout the evening. He exudes a charm and grace these days that is beyond resistance. One has the sense that no matter what happens, Mr. Bowie will keep his audience safe and warm. I wish I could see every show on this tour.
Thanx so much for those folx...much appreciated. Keep 'em coming kidz.