The return of the Thin White Duke / Throwing darts in lovers’ eyes…
Sorry I’ve been away for a week or so. Just getting over my latest Bowie high…went to see La Bowie in Anaheim last Friday at Arrowhead Pond, home of the Mighty Ducks. My first time there to see a show, and I have to say, the venue was pretty neat. A large floor seating area, an upper loge, topped off with an upper balcony. Via the magic of BowieNet, I was able to get two front row center balcony seats, which in terms of pure visibility and sound, were probably the best seats in the house. I had the pleasure of sharing my tickets with Emile, a Bowie virgin. This makes two Bowie virgins whose Bowie cherries I’ve popped in one year. I’m such a Bowie whore.
Polyphonic Spree opened the show with about an hour of freaky “Let the Sunshine In” Godspell-meets-Flaming Lips weirdness. A large group of about 25 or so musicians in long, flowing white robes crowded the stage – half made up a small choir, while the rest played drums, keyboards, french horns, even a harp. They sang hippy-dippy singalongs, including a cover of “Ride, Captain, Ride”, and each song stretched to around seven minutes in length, so what at the beginning was amusing, soon became torture (evidenced by the shouts of “YOU SUUUUUCK!” at each silent point of the set). GOOD: The show started precisely on time at 7:30. BAD: It lasted over an hour.
After a short break (just in time for me to grab a couple of $7.50 beers and take a quick squirt), Bowie came out just like two months ago, opening with the quiet version of “Rebel, Rebel”. He then proceeded to do nearly the same setlist I saw two months prior at the Shrine. The only surprises came in the form of a revamped version of “The Supermen” and an inspired reading of “Quicksand” which brought a little lump in my “Hunky Dory” loving throat.
All the funny, spontaneous, off the cuff remarks from two months ago also returned in exactly the same places they were back then, which made them seem slightly less off the cuff and spontaneous. But hey, this is a guy who also choreographs shows to the most minute detail, so whaddaya expect. Once again, we got “My little china girl / she says / just SHUT THE FUCK UP”, which, once again got a big laugh. Give ’em what they want.
I’m a little sad that I’ve discovered Bowie after he retired so many of the “hits” he’s sick of playing live. It would be great to hear “Young Americans” or especially “Boys Keep Swinging” or “Station to Station”, but I guess those days are long gone, and he’s intent on sticking to his goal of not being a jukebox of old songs. GOOD: A medley of “Sunday” and “Heathen (The Rays)” that was smoothly done and genuinely moving. BAD: A subpar duet of “Under Pressure” with bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, who sounded MUCH better at the Shrine. She must have had an off night.
Bottom line: He’s still got it, and for $20 less than a Morrissey ticket. Take that, you whiny bitch tosser!