David Bowie 2004-04-09 Edmonton ,Rexall Place (zannalee1967 remake) SQ 8+

David Bowie 2004-04-09 Edmonton ,Rexall Place (zannalee1967 remake) SQ 8+

01 [intro].flac
02 Rebel Rebel.flac
03 Modern Love.flac
04 New Killer Star.flac
05 Fame.flac
06 Cactus.flac
07 All The Young Dudes.flac
08 China Girl.flac
09 China Girl [mandarin version].flac
10 Hang On To Yourself.flac
11 Never Get Old.flac
12 The Loneliest Guy.flac
13 The Man Who Sold The World.flac
14 Afraid.flac
15 Hallo Spaceboy.flac
16 Sunday.flac
17 Heathen (The Rays).flac
18 Under Pressure.flac
19 Days.flac
20 Fall Dog Bombs The Moon.flac
21 Looking For Water.flac
22 Ashes To Ashes.flac
23 Quicksand.flac
24 I’m Afraid Of Americans.flac
25 Heroes.flac
26 Suffragette City.flac
27 Ziggy Stardust.flac

Total running time: Disc 1: 57:51; Disc 2: 68:02

David Bowie played an amazing Edmonton show in 2004

For the aloof God of rock ‘n’ roll that David Bowie has been painted as over the years, he’s a surprisingly down-to-earth guy in concert.

At least he was last night at Rexall Place for a not-sold-out crowd of fans who’d clearly cheer the guy just for showing up. And we did. Maybe it’s a new-found humility. He used to sell out stadiums. Now he draws 9,000 fans to Edmonton’s hockey arena. I think Avril Lavigne had a bigger turnout, talk about frightening – and Bowie has more talent under his fingernail than Avril has in her entire body.

Not that it seemed to matter to the man who sold the world. Bowie and a six-piece band pumped out a brilliant concert that was half hit parade, half musical adventure to places few have gone before. His easy wit leavened the “heavier” moments. He even managed a local reference, praising the Muttart Conservatory, where he supposedly went yesterday, then saying, “er, what else can I talk about locally?” What, you didn’t get the memo that all visiting rock stars get? No mention of the Edmonton-Calgary thing? Oh, well.

There were few special effects but the man himself. He joked about that, saying it took him 15 minutes to design it.

Looking relaxed and pretty good for a 57-year-old rock singer who’s been to the moon and back, Bowie joked, he played around with the crowd, he staged singalongs, gag versions of hits and tacitly apologized for presenting new material, which, let’s face it, isn’t setting the world on fire the way his classics did, and still do, come to think of it.

The old stuff was why we were here. Few of the fans – ranging from ’60s survivors to their kids – came away from this concert without hearing at least one Bowie song that had touched them. But after such mouldy oldies as Fame, China Girl and All the Young Dudes, the old Thin White Duke surprised us with some amazing new songs from his latest album, Reality. That’s what this was: “A Reality Tour,” no relation to the Seinfeld episode. Bowie made a joke about that, too: “Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown will do a reality show … just as soon as they figure out what their reality is.”

The set ran the gamut. Bowie opened with Rebel Rebel, kind of a weak start but much appreciated, after which he called us a bunch of “crazy motherf—ers.” (He says that to all the cities.) Other hits followed, some truncated, some slightly mangled, few delivered with the passion of the more complex and even operatic material that would come later. Highlights included I’ll Never Get Old, appropriately enough, and the beautiful ballad, The Loneliest Guy. There was one dramatic song around the halfway point of the show that must’ve been 20 minutes long.

A wailing, powerful version of Under Pressure followed, with his bassist, Gail Ann Dorsey, taking the part of Freddie Mercury. Wow, is all I can say about this. The show just kept getting scarier and scarier. Maybe let’s put it this way: Bowie is a down-to-earth God of rock ‘n’ roll.

The Polyphonic Spree wasn’t so much an opening act as it was a “happening” – a 25-member, white-robed, flower power ensemble perfectly setting the mood for the aging hippies who turned up last night to grok to Bowie’s “old stuff.” It was ridiculous and sublime all at once – kind of like life, dig? This Texas ensemble, including a large horn section and a nine-member choir, oozed positivity by the bucketful, singing happy, shiny songs dealing with love or happiness or various combinations of the two. There were odes to sky and trees and the essential goodness of humanity in there, too.

“There’s love outside window,” sang frontman Tim DeLaughter, who looked like he’d just missed scoring the lead role in Hair but wasn’t too bummed out about it. He led this hooray-for-everything brigade through other such homilies as “Hey, it’s the sun – it makes me shine!” with nary a trace of irony. He was hip to how Hare Krishnaian his band looks, introducing one of his horn players as the “gardener who’s in charge of all our vegetables back at the compound,” but the music was dead serious about being uplifting.

After about 40 minutes of this Godspell on acid bombast for a largely bewildered crowd, it was all over with a cheery, “Have a wonderful night and a beautiful tomorrow!” Back at you, man. Spread the love as long as you can. With 25 people to pay, you’re obviously not in it for the money.

IN THE SEATS: 9,000 in Rexall

ADOBE AUDITION *
0. a bit muddy but otherwise very nice recording
1. tweaking – high section only
2. leveled the recording as good as possible
3. widened stereo image
4. crossfaded when needed to recreate the flow of the concert – no music missing
5. retracked

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