The Good, The Bad, and The Spiders From Mars [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : The Good, The Bad, and The Spiders From Mars

04-02-2004, 07:15 PM
Let the last live words that I hear from David Bowie be this.....

Ziggy Plaaaaaaayed Geeeee-taaaaaar-aaaaaaaar.

The Good:
A sold out 22,000+ seat stadium with a crowd pumped up to see a show that had been postponed from December. The energy was high and everyone was happy.

Bowie was in great voice. And his persona was very relaxed. No costumes. No make-up. No singing to skulls. Just David in black jeans and a black t-shirt, being himself. Cool.

Bowie started with a bang - coming out and jumping into Rebel Rebel. Some of my other favourite moments were: The Man Who Sold the World; Hereos; and Quicksand, which I don't think that I've ever seen him perform live. He was relaxed, chatting with the audience, making jokes, laughing and generally looked like he was having fun.

The band was good with Earl Slick returning to the Bowie line-up on guitar.

From Rebel Rebel things were good for the next few songs. But then...

The Bad:
He seemed to lose his energy. He started to leave the stage at the end of songs, leaving the band alone to run on for a bit and then end the song just as he returned to start the next one.

About midway through the show, he turned things really low key with a few cuts from Heathen and some of the slower cuts from Reality. These are not good live performance tunes. He sat down on a dark stage, to sing them. He lost people. We had aisle seats and there were an awful lot of people choosing to take potty breaks, or refresh their beer, or find whatever reason to leave their seats for a few minutes. My mind began to drift as I sat there and hoped that things would get better again. He has soooo much material. He could have easily replaced these songs with something better, still low key if he needed the break, but something that the (average age 40) crowd wanted to hear. How about Sorrow or Life on Mars?

The stage set-up was annoying for us. Our seats were off to the side of the stage. There were risers running along the back of the stage and along either side. These risers got in the way of our view. Anytime Bowie stepped back a few steps from the front of the stage, the riser cut him in half. I guess they were there so that he could move around the stage on different levels, but he only did that once. Mostly they had no purpose other than blocking our view.

The Spiders From Mars:
He played five songs from the Ziggy Stardust disk. Hang Onto Yourself was played during the regular set. The encore was comprised of Starman; Five Years; Suffragette City; and Ziggy Stardust. The encore rocked!!!!

It was this encore that sent the crowd wilder than they had been at any point during the show. This was the material that most people were there to hear. The old Bowie classics. The songs they know and love and grew up with. He could have had the crowd eating out of his hand if he had played this material up-front instead of saving it for the end. Although, I must say that it was a good reminder of why we were all there in the first place.

This was my fifth time seeing Bowie. It was Hubby's first time. Hubby enjoyed the show and was glad that he went. I enjoyed it too, but not as much as previous shows. Although my lack of enthusiasm had more to do with the material than with Bowie himself. He was fantastic. But next time, he should let me choose the set list. :)


P.S. For those who are from this board, the internet, and my grumbling tummy convinced us to skip The Polyphonic Spree in favour of dinner and drinks. Based on comments from the folks sitting around us, we made the right choice. The guy beside me said that after the first song, they decided that it was a good time to go out for a smoke. The guy behind me commented that he liked Tripping Daisy, but "WTF was that?".

04-02-2004, 07:54 PM
Excellent retrospect FA.

I saw Bowie back in '87 and they didn't even play Suffragette City. That pissed me off. The concert was a theatrical performance promoting the Never Let Me Down release.

He's still filling large venues eh. Amazing.

I saw Tull last year in a venue that seated at most a couple thousand people.

What a great experience.

I've had my fill of large, overcrowded arenas. They suck.