CELEBRATING DAVID BOWIE Live! – Concert Review

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Todd Rundgren

Losing David Bowie in 2016 was a gut punch to the musical universe that is still felt today.  It is an exercise in futility to try and express the impact Bowie has had on music, art, fashion, and cinema.  Even in his final days, he remained Bowie to the end, posthumously releasing Blackstar only two days following his passing.  Bowie’s influence has and will stretch on for generations.  Musicians and fans, understandably want more, and some of the biggest icons of rock n’ roll are giving it to them.  Songwriter/Producer, Todd Rundgren, along with King Crimson’s Adrian Belew, have assembled an all-star cast of players to bring Bowie’s music back to the stage for the Celebrating David Bowie tour.  On a warm Sunday evening, October 9th, the silhouette of Ziggy Stardust cast its long shadow over the crowd at the City National Grove Theater of Anaheim in California. This was a celebration of an incomparable artistic life.  The outcome was an evening of beautifully rendered songs and performances with a weighty task: remembering Bowie and giving the audience something to remember.  Did they pull it off?  The answer is a resounding “yes.”  Celebrating David Bowie should not be missed by even the most casual fan.

Adrian Belew

Reproducing the work of David Bowie live was not an act to be approached lightly.  However, Rundgren and Belew have undertaken this production with the respect it deserves.  Aside from the co-creators, many of the performers may not be household names, but their resumes can be connected with everyone from Nine Inch Nails, Jackson Browne, No Doubt, Orianthi, and on and on.  Along with Rundgren and Belew, if that weren’t enough, the audience was treated to talents ranging from Royston Langdon (Space Hog), Travis Mcnabb (Better Than Ezra), and most prominently, Angelo Moore (Fishbone) and gave us the truest renditions of Bowie’s catalog that we could ever have hoped for.  Decades of talent stood on the stage, and it showed.

Angelo Moore

While Bowie’s music was masterfully executed, one inspired casting choice elevated Celebrating David Bowie into a must see show, and that choice was Angelo Moore.  Moore, legendary in the world of ska and punk for heading his group Fishbone, brought all the energy and eccentricity necessary to capture the spirit of Bowie.  Bowie’s live performances were marked by elaborate costume changes, choreography, and musical surprises.  In a single nuclear powered package, Moore delivered all of these.  The multi-instrumentalist danced his way through the likes of Moonage Daydream, Blue Jean, and Rebel Rebel.  He was the consummate cheerleader, connecting with and rousing the audience throughout.  And then, there were the costumes…oh, so many costumes.  Bowie would have been pleased.  Additionally, Moore took up the theremin, an instrument that is familiar to fans of 1950s sci-fi movie scores and was perfectly suited to a concert honoring our favorite man from Mars.  Celebrating David Bowie would have been a success without Moore, but it would not have been nearly as Bowie-esque in his absence.

With a setlist that spans the career of a true legend, Celebrating David Bowie leaves no stone unturned.  It is an expansive twenty-nine song journey from Ziggy Stardust, to the Thin White Duke, to the Blind Prophet.  The musical selections do not disappoint and will leave even the most skeptical Bowie fanatic satisfied.  Ultimately, the show is a two-hour plus love letter to a man who gave us so much.  Rundgren and Belew have created a show with all the sound and imagery due its master.  If you, like many of us, want to relive these songs, this music, don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate with your fellow diamond dogs.  Engines on.

CLICK HERE to view photo gallery.

Celebrating David Bowie‘s U.S. tour continues through November 13th, 2022.

http://celebratingdavidbowie.com/

Setlist:

  1. Sound and Vision
  2. Young Americans
  3. Moonage Daydream
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide
  5. Changes
  6. Starman
  7. The Man Who Sold the World
  8. John, I’m Only Dancing
  9. Ziggy Stardust
  10. Life on Mars?
  11. Ashes to Ashes
  12. Fame
  13. Fashion
  14. Golden Years
  15. Stay
  16. Station to Station
  17. Breaking Glass
  18. D.J. / Boys Keep Swinging
  19. Space Oddity
  20. The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
  21. Hallo Spaceboy
  22. I’m Afraid of Americans
  23. Pretty Pink Rose
  24. Blue Jean
  25. Let’s Dance
  26. Rebel Rebel
  27. All the Young DudesEncore:
  28. Suffragette City
  29. “Heroes”
     

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