A Reality Tour
Denver, Colorado, USA
19 January 2004
The legendary Thin White Duke brought his A Reality tour to the legendary Mile High City to perform for the legendary Mattimus (and 3,599 others) at the sold out Fillmore Auditorium Monday night.
It was a 16-and-over show that featured an extremely eclectic audience. The ages ranged from 16 to 60-something and, unfortunately, there was a click of long-haired geezer guys right at the end of the very short catwalk instead of hot chicks and... me. But, I was a mere couple feet from the stage and surrounded by the aforementioned teenage girls that, surprisingly, knew all the words to all the songs.
Macy Gray, supporting her own album, The Trouble with Being Myself, opened for Bowie and proved herself to be quite likeable. Her entrance was breathtaking. Not so much because of anything she did; it was her hair! She had the most outrageously over-sized coiffure imaginable! As a bonus, there was also a foxy, foxy back up singer in a white knit hat. In addition to those two, there were no less than eight other band members. Quite a crew.
Macy was playful with the crowd and emphasized how we're all superstars, a theme that resonates around the neighborhoods of Mattopia.
She was a hoot when she'd adjust her hair... her buns... her boobs. She was obviously comfortable living in her own skin and she brought with her a refreshing sense of individuality and a casual, amiable demeanor. Yes, amiable, but with a bit of a New York 'tude thrown in for good measure.
On the set list were I Try, Oblivion, She Ain't Right for You, When I See You, and Come Together; plus Macy managed to sneak in a very smooth segue into Alabama 3’s Woke Up This Morning.
As for Bowie, the man is a living legend. There's no doubt about that. And, further complicating the personality and psyche of one of the original chameleons of rock 'n' roll was his incredibly friendly and lighthearted banter. On Sunday, he visited the stock show (something, he noted, they don't have back home). He joked about being able to ride a bucking bronco... when he was younger. One can only imagine what it was look to run into David Bowie at the stock show; it would seem to be a culture clash of massive proportions.
Bowie also gave a shout out to the folks at the Tattered Cover, where he delighted in the ability to drink coffee and read all those newspapers for free. This is the same David Bowie who created Ziggy Stardust, but with his casual comments this rock 'n' roll superstar became as accessible as your average Joe.
Bowie's 2.25 hour set included the following
Ashes to Ashes
New Killer Star
Bring Me the Disco King
The Loneliest Guy
She'll Drive the Big Car
Under Pressure – an outstanding rendition
I’m Afraid of Americans
Fame (Bowie gave us the choice of Fame or Fashion)
Never Get Old
All the Young Dudes
China Girl – we let Dave down; he mistakenly thought we could sing the song on our own (in keeping with Macy's comments that we're all superstars). We were "fucking awful," to use Bowie's Queen's English. He wound up singing the song himself. Ummm... he did it much better than we did.
By the way, the new material from Reality is surprisingly strong when performed live. Bring Me the Disco King in particular gained a lot from Bowie's facial expressions and dramatic gestures.
I entered the concert with my cell phone in tow; it's a new jobbie with a digital camera. Expecting it to be nothing more than a novelty, I still had to take advantage of my location and clip off "a few" shots during the show. Why the resolution changed on me a couple times, I don't know just yet. I'll work on that next time. Nonetheless, the results were better than I expected in some ways. They lead me to wonder what Andy Warhol would've done with such a camera. Taking pictures with a cell phone is almost its own art form; it's a far different experience from something like... oh... the Canon Digital Rebel.
It's a shame that backup singer is in no way remotely recognizable. My apologies.