The lights dropped. There was some amazing digital animation onscreen featuring a backing band and a blonde man with a harmonica. From backstage, came a familiarly deep, laughing voice…
And the crowd went wild…
He started in with “Rebel Rebel.” He was wearing a black denim jacket with tuxedo tails and tight black jeans (dear god) as he posed and strutted and teased the audience. Mick Jagger has nothing on Bowie in their collective middle age.
Two songs off “Reality” followed (great album.)Then Bowie’s cover of “Cactus” (even better live.)Then a big tease with “China Girl” (offered to let the audience sing, sat back and listened for a line or two, then took the stage and said “well, that was just fuckin’ tragic, I’d better sing it myself.”)
At this point, it all becomes a blur of transcendental blissfulness. I remember there was lots of material from the Eno compilations, especially “Low,” and he played both “Man Who Sold The World,” and “Life On Mars?” to Lizzie’s great delight. He dedicated “Heroes” to the people of America, post 9/11.
At some point the topcoat and then a zebra striped jacket beneath fell away, revealing a skintight t-shirt of unknown logo. Jesus the man is well built for being 58 years old!
The band included the incomparable Earl Slick on guitar and the origianl keyboardist from “the Spiders” and of course Lizzie’s “imaginary girlfriend” on bass. I’ll let Lizzie explain that one…Anyway, suffice it to say, they rocked. But nothing compared to the encore…
The Ziggy Stardust Encore.
It began with “Hang On To Yourself’ which I consider one of the world’s first punk songs:
“Well it really comes out better on a stolen guitar/you’re the blessed/we’re the Spiders from Mars”
I was pogoing in my 4 inch boots and red velvet and tossing my pigtails wildly. Lizzie was transfixed (and corseted in plaid, in case you were wondering.)
“Five Years,” “Suffragette City,” and last but not least “Ziggy Stardust” itself. So that the last words our idol sang to us were…
…”Ziggy played gui..taaar..”
We were fifteen years old again, not grown women with Hello Kitty accessories.We were awestruck. We were starstruck. We were speechless. We barely spoke the whole way home, just listened to CDs and digested the experience. Even skipped the traditional Waffle House outing on the way back. I think we were a bit physically and psychically exhausted. I for one slept like a wee baby thereafter.
Anyway, I shall die fulfilled now. I have indeed seen God. And if I haven’t said it properly quite yet, I’ll say it now:
And now, as if that weren’t enough, here’s a Friday Five:
When was the last time you…
1. …went to the doctor? About 3 months ago.
2. …went to the dentist? You don’t want to know…
3. …filled your gas tank? Today!
4. …got enough sleep? Sunday, for a change.
5. …backed up your computer? What? You mean it doesn’t do that for me?