Silver Spring, Maryland
Featuring: Mike Garson (keys), Earl Slick (guitar), Gerry Leonard (guitar), Carmine Rojas (bass), Bernard Fowler (vocals), Gaby Moreno (vocals), Joe Sumner (vocals), Corey Glover (vocals)
Set List: Bring Me The Disco King (Fowler), Rebel Rebel (Fowler), Moonage Daydream (Fowler), Fame (Fowler), Changes (Sumner), Space Oddity (Moreno), Quicksand (Sumner), Stay (Fowler), Jean Genie (Fowler), Five Years (Moreno), Lady Grinning Soul (Sumner), Station To Station (Fowler), Ziggy Stardust (Sumner), Time (Moreno), Wild Is The Wind, All The Young Dudes (Sumner), Sufragette City (Glover), Young Americans (Glover), Changes (Glover), ENCORE: Loving The Alien (Leonard solo), Life on Mars? (Sumner), Aladdin Sane (Moreno), Heroes (Fowler)
The moon was in the distance on this rainy February evening when the Celebrating David Bowie tour opened for the first time on US soil with an all star cast which paid tribute to the original space man glam rocker, Mr. David Bowie.
The backing band featured an assortment of musicians that toured as Bowie’s backing band throughout his career. Earl Slick looked like a better version of Keith Richards on guitar, Gerry Leonard played a white Les Paul while looking like an aged punk rocker that managed to remain two steps ahead of the current scene and looked cooler than kids 1/2 his age. Mike Garson on piano served as the music director and led the show. Sting’s son, Joe Sumner was a guest vocalist and played guitar for most of the show. Gaby Moreno added an interesting female approach to the certain songs while Bernard Fowler, best known for his stints with The Rolling Stones, served as the primary vocalist for the evening. Corey Glover from Living Colour was a special guest vocalist for this show but turned out to be an overall train wreck from start till finish.
Garson took the stage first, spoke to the crowd, told a few short stories, then introduced Fowler to the stage. They performed what he said was the last song Bowie ever performed live, “Bring Me To The Disco King”.
Fowler is a strong singer and his soulful voice brought to life many Bowie classics. Joe Sumner’s vocals were absolutely superb, he is an accomplished vocalist with a vocal range that fit all eras of Bowie perfectly.
Corey Glover from Living Colour was slated to perform the 5th song of the evening, “Changes”, but did not take the stage. Garson joked that he must still be asleep on the bus. The entire onstage band waited for 5 minutes and began telling random stories to fill time so Glover could make it to the stage. When Glover did not show up an eager Sumner took the mic and belted out an amazing version of “Changes” which was better than the version Glover would preform later in the evening.
“Space Oddity” featured Gaby Moreno on vocals and was absolutely brilliant in both delivery and style. Bowie would have been proud of this cover and the accompanying light show added to the spectacle.
“Quicksand”, “Stay”, and “Lady Grinning Soul” were interesting deep cuts which were included in the set while songs like “Ziggy Stardust”, “Jean Genie”, and “Heroes” brought the crowd to their knees.
Corey Glover finally took the stage while the band performed “All The Young Dudes” and Garson joked that, “Corey just woke up!” which didn’t seem to set too well with anyone in the room.
“Suffragette City” was an absolute trainwreck from start till finish as Glover forgot words, lost his place, and overall he came off very unprofessional considering his job was to sing the song properly. To make matters worse, Corey had a lap top in front of him and he showed the crowd that he was reading the lyrics off the laptop as he proclaimed, “Goddamn Bowie had a lot of words to sing, these songs are complicated!” He then declared, “I am awake now!”
“Young Americans” featuring Glover again on lead vocals was better than his first performance and Garson asked Glover to make good on his missed song and do “Changes” for the 2nd time that evening. Glover messed up a tad but played it off just well enough to get a pass.
The encore opened with Leonard on guitar performing “Loving The Alien” solo and this was actually one of the highlights of the evening because his solo performance was jaw dropping.
“Life on Mars” with Sumner on vocals was amazing, “Aladin Sane” with Moreno on vocals was great, and “Heroes” with Fowler on lead vocals was the perfect way to end this night of amazing Bowie classics.