David Bowie 1997-09-06 Vanvouver ,Plaza of Nations SQ -8

David Bowie 1997-09-06 Vanvouver ,Plaza of Nations SQ -8

101 Quicksand (some tape garble).flac
102 The Man Who Sold The World.flac
103 Queen Bitch (more tape garble).flac
104 Waiting For The Man.flac
105 The Jean Genie.flac
106 I’m Afraid Of Americans.flac
107 Battle For Britain (The Letter).flac
108 Fashion.flac
109 band introductions 1.flac
110 Seven Years In Tibet.flac
111 Fame.flac
112 Stay.flac
201 Looking For Satellites.flac
202 Under Pressure.flac
203 The Hearts Filthy Lesson.flac
204 Hallo Spaceboy.flac
205 Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).flac
206 Little Wonder.flac
207 band introductions 2.flac
208 Panic In Detroit.flac
209 Dead Man Walking.flac
210 White Light, White Heat.flac
211 O Superman.flac
212 V-2 Schneider (small cut at beginning).flac
213 Look Back In Anger.flac
214 All The Young Dudes (cuts off).flac

The 1st show of the North American leg of the Earthling Tour.

A really great performance, with some unusual fills from the band.
No one is bored here.

david-bowie-bowie-vancouver-back

This was out for trade in about 2003.
The girl that taped it on an auto-reverse cassette recorder said she bought a new 100min metal tape for the job.

There is quite a bit of tape garble near the beginning, and some level adjustments during Quicksand lose a bit of the 2nd verse. Most of the garbled part clears up after Queen Bitch, and on the flip side, there is some garble during Look Back In Anger.

You can hear the tapers preparing for the tape flip during Fame, and they successfully push the auto-reverse between Fame & Satellites, losing virtually nothing. They don’t record the applause, and shut off right after Little Wonder. There are a few other small dropouts, and spot in the beginning of V2 Schneider where the tape gets paused for a moment. Tape runs out in Dudes, but the entire show is essentially here. Great Job!

The band:
David Bowie – vocals + 12 string guitar + saxophone
Reeves Gabrels – guitar
Mike Garson – piano + keyboards + samples
Gail Ann Dorsey – bass + synthesizer + vocals
Zachary Alford – drums + percussion + samples

The Opener
by Evan Torrie

Paul and I rolled into town about 4:00 p.m. (great weather all weekend in both Vancouver and Seattle by the way), and found the rest of the Teenage Wildlife crew supping away on drinks at trendy Subeez, just a few blocks up the street from Plaza of Nations. After meeting up with the main crew, we also attracted the attention of the infamous Spaceboy, complete in his silver-painted face, and toilet plunger headwear 🙂 We also picked up a couple of Teenage Wildlife readers from Oregon who had come up for the concert as well.

We rolled down to the venue about 5:30 to hear the end of the soundcheck. There were a few holes poked in the tarpaulin around the Plaza, appropriately located for us to look inside and see Bowie complete in shades accompanying Gail-Ann on “O Superman”. At the end, when the crowd applauded, Bowie said “That wasn’t me. That was Gail-Ann Dorsey”. To which the crowd applauded even more, and Bowie commented “Oh I see! More applause for her!” Earlier queuers told us that he had sound-checked Panic In Detroit and Always Crashing In The Same Car!

Our little group of TWers was back about 200 in line, which actually turned out to be not so bad, since a number of people in front of us chose to forgo the rigours of the mosh-pit, and instead went back to some slightly raised rows of seats at the back of the floor. The venue itself was interesting – open air, but with a plexiglass cover on top, and right on the edge of the water on the location of the 1986 World Expo site. There was a building behind with outdoor hallways, which would have given a great view for those who could get up there (the stairwells were boarded off to the hoi-polloi), but during the concert I looked back up there, and there was a group of people dancing away and looking on from this Scotsman’s Stand.

Security opened the doors at 6:30 p.m., which I thought was a rather long time before the show, since it was listed as 8 p.m., and we all know how punctual rock stars are 😉 I would say about half the people in front of us in line chose to forgo the mosh pit, so we ran in and ended up just in front of the left hand speaker, and about two people back from the rail (about 30 feet from Bowie’s microphone stand). Helen2 had staked a place for herself with one of her friends at the front of the line, so she was front and center (which enabled her to make the fabled cigarette butt grab – not the only butt she would have liked to have grabbed I’m sure :))

Of the 3 shows I’ve been to so far, the Vancouver one was the roughest and tightest in the mosh pit, although at the other two I was against the barrier and hence not quite so subject to the chaotic meanderings of the mosh behind. But there were at least 10 or more people who only managed to make it a little way into the set before making their way out to the exit (most of them in their late 30s). Things got more and more pressed as the road crew made their final adjustments. One woman beside me got more than a little upset at the delay (we ended up waiting 2 1/4 hours standing in the mosh before Bowie came on around 8:45 p.m.), and started yelling “What the hell is going on?!?” as the roadies checked guitars, microphones, projection cameras interminably.

The set is fairly spartan… dominated by the two or three eyeballs which get released during Little Wonder. Tony Oursler cameras project images onto Zach’s drum, and also onto three stick figures between Mike Garson and Zach. At the back of the stage, three overhead cameras project video images across the canvas wall (including the infamous Fashion porn video). Reeves stands stage right, Gail-Ann stage left, and Bowie in the centre of course.

Finally, at about 8:45, Bowie appeared with 12 string acoustic guitar in hand, and opened with his by-now customary Quicksand. For those of you who get right up the front, you’ll see that Bowie has the lyrics and chords for Quicksand written down and taped right at the front of the stage. He seems to get the chords mostly right, but his verses are still somewhat questionable (particularly at the next night in Seattle) 😉 About halfway through the song, the rest of the band walks on stage in the darkness, and then joins in to rock the final part of the song.

For those of you interested in the fashion file, Bowie was wearing open-toed sandals, but no toe-nail polish. And on top he was wearing a loose fitting off-whitish shirt (not tucked in), and very light grey pants.

From there it was into The Man Who Sold The World, Queen Bitch, Waiting For The Man and The Jean Genie (during which time Bowie retained his acoustic guitar in hand). For me, Queen Bitch was the favourite of these. How can you go wrong singing “She’s so swishy in her satin and tat”?? accompanied by wall video of his Life On Mars look.

As has been his custom on tour so far, Bowie introduced Jean Genie with a slow blues number (“Baby, What You Want Me To Do” by Jimmy Reed), accompanied just by Reeves, and by telling the audience that the blues were invented in London, just near Peckenham actually, and about how they were then placed in a small suitcase, more of a “valise” 😉 The blues number segues into The Jean Genie with the rest of the band joining in unison.

After the early 1970’s retrospective to warm up the crowd, it was back into the Earthling material, I’m Afraid of Americans backed by Battle For Britain. These songs are two of my favourites from Earthling (they rock harder ;)), and they didn’t disappoint here. He prefaced I’m Afraid Of Americans by telling the crowd that “every band has its single season, and this one is ours… it will be released in about 3 weeks”. Bowie’s miming was apparent during the Battle For Britain section where the music sounds like it’s skipping a track, as he mimed a slow motion walk back towards the microphone.

Fashion, accompanied by Bowie doing his “GQ-style” fashion poses, kept the older crowd happy, and then he introduced the band… telling the crowd that Zachary had a nickname that he couldn’t use, but instead referring to him jokingly as the “rich boy”.

Seven Years In Tibet, with Bowie playing the sax part on his tenor sax, was followed up by Bowie asking the crowd “After Fashion, what do you get?? You get this!” And into the bass-thumping version of Fame. There’s a lot of extra thrown in for this version, like Bowie asking the crowd “Who’s been sleeping in my bed? Who’s been sleeping in my car?” and then at the line “What’s his name?”, pointing to himself, and miming a questioning look, with Gail-Ann pointing to him and mouthing “What’s his name?”

Then it was into the kick-ass version of Stay for this tour. Reeves really gets into his licks here, although I wouldn’t mind if he even got a little more wild towards the end. The final part of the song with its “Stay, why don’t you Stay, why don’t you?? Oh oh oh oh” refrain is enough to make the crippled get up and dance.

After the excitement of Stay, it was back to the slower Looking For Satellites, Under Pressure with Gail-Ann on vocals, and Hearts Filthy Lesson. The interplay between David and Gail-Ann continued at the end of Under Pressure as Bowie kissed Gail on the back of the neck for a job well done 😉

Then it was into the final three songs of the main set, the rocking versions of Hallo Spaceboy, Scary Monsters and Little Wonder. During Scary Monsters the crew puts a portable Oursler camera and box right on the front of the stage with Bowie’s head projected sideways. Reeves comes over and does his wicked solo and stands on the box, and afterwards David gets up and stands on it to finish the song. During Little Wonder, the two huge painted eyeball balloons came out and Bowie threw them out into the crowd. As expected, they didn’t last long 🙂

The encore break was only about 90 seconds, and Bowie came back with the line “You KNOW we were only going for cigarettes”. During the break, the crew had come out and taped some more lyrics onto the floor. And it turned out to be Panic In Detroit, the first time he had performed this on the Earthling tour, and a very faithful rendition of the original album version (although a bit louder :)) although I personally wouldn’t mind Zachary getting a bit more drum play by himself during this (he got a bit more during San Francisco).

Dead Man Walking and White Light White Heat followed. White Light White Heat is your best chance to see Bowie up close and personal if you’re at the front, as he gets down on the floor over the top of the glass, bathed in white light from below, and pants out the final few lines from the song. I know lots of people think this song is old and tired, but it is still a great live version, and I would like to see it every night if I can 😉

Following up the excitement and rocking of White Light was O Superman and V-2 Schneider. Both of these were loooong versions! On O Superman, Bowie is hardly spotlighted at all, with Gail-Ann doing all the singing, and belting out some heavy bass notes on her bass synth. Bowie also gets out his bass saxophone to accompany her. The bass saxophone followed into the next song, V-2 Schneider, which was honestly my favourite of the night (and it’s a pity he hasn’t been playing this more often in my opinion). Hearing that bass saxophone ripping through the speakers (and your body) is mind-altering 😉

Finally, it was back to more familiar songs, with Look Back In Anger and the finale of All The Young Dudes (“Hey, you out there with the glasses, I see you!”)

Then it was all over… the roadies came out and handed out two setlists to those in front of the stage, and we filed out back to Subeez for beers all round 😉

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