Concert Review – David Bowie, Wellington Feb 14 2004

Another recycled article from the old Exposures Online Website archives originally published 15th March 2004

On February 14th 2004 David Bowie played a concert at The Cake Tin in Wellington as part of his Reality Tour.

I went.

The support act was Brook Fraser who’s old man used to play for the All Blacks so she gets a leg in to the big time.

She’s probably OK, but as any support act will tell you, you don’t get the full PA, you don’t get the lights and you don’t get the anything more than polite applause.

9.00 pm, it’s starts persisting down – the storm that flooded the bottom half of the North Island had begun.

There’s no big screen, but there’s a huge stage backdrop that is an enormous LCD screen and it’s awesome. It’s dark now, it’s raining, we all know the bands about to start playing and then we hear the opening notes of Rebel Rebel.

The spotlight comes on and there he is. 56 years old and he’s still got that voice.

He gets a couple of newer songs in early, New Killer Star and Reality I think they were, then it’s Fame, the song he co-wrote with John Lennon.

“Here’s one from the great ’80’s band the Pixies’ he tells and plays Cactus.

It’s about this stage where I realise we are in for something special. Bowie’s doing covers.

“Is it too early for a singalong” he asks next. I turn to the missus and say “All The Young Dudes, it has to be”

I’m right of course

China Girl is followed by the Low instrumental A New career In A New Town with the MainMan on harmonica.

My set list notes from here gets harder to read, but there was a song about Uncle Floyd then the female bass player, Gail Ann Dorsey, takes the Freddie Mercury part on Under Pressure (brilliantly I might add).

More illegible scribble I’m afraid, but I know that Bowie has decided to stand out in the rain, “If you can put up with it, so can I’ he says.

Ahhh, love or hate the guy, he’s always known who pays the bills this bloke.

Another cover, the Velvet Underground’s White Light White Heat which Bowie has been playing live now for almost longer than Lou Reed.

Ashes To Ashes from Lodger is followed by I’m Afraid Of Americans, from Heathen, then it’s Heroes, which he dedicates to us who are soaking wet or freezing cold, depending on how much you paid for the ticket.

A quick exit, then the encore. Don’t even have to look at my notes. All from the Ziggy Stardust album, Five Years, Suffragette City and Ziggy Stardust.

Exit stage left, lights come on. Goodnight ladies.

The concert was made that much more special by including the likes of Mike Garson on keyboards, and Earl Slick on guitar, both of whom have been with Bowie on previous albums and tours.

I’ve been buying Bowie’s records (pretty well all of them) since 1972 when I found The Man Who Sold The World, and this was the first time I’ve ever seen the guy live.

I’ve played in more than a dozen bands and every single one has played cover versions of his songs live in pubs and clubs and I’ve even recorded my own versions of a some of his songs for my own listening pleasure (translation – they are pretty bad) so yes, I am a fan.

And yes, I am very biased when it comes to the Jean Genie.

However, Bowie rocked my world in 1972 and he’s still rocking it today.

As such I’ll let him have the last word…

I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died along, a long long time ago

Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the Man who Sold the World

Leave a Reply