David Bowie has improved with age! No longer the aloof Thin White Duke, Mr. Bowie was animated and aggressive on stage unlike previous stage appearances. Bowie rocked George Mason University's Patriot Center on Sunday, May 16, 2004.

     Bowie's backing band of musicians are guitarists Earl Slick and band leader Gerry Leonard, keyboardist Mike Garson, bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, drummer Sterling Campbell, and talent-of-all trades backing vocalist Katherine Russell.

     A cartoon of the band was projected above the stage to infer fantasy. This surreal image morphed into a two dimensional, full color glimpse of the band mid-jam, intimating the concept of REALITY, the title of Bowie's 2003 album.

     Bowie launched his amazing Fairfax performance with his 1972 classic "Rebel Rebel", a great show opener. The audience were up on their feet as Bowie came out on stage with an electric guitar, looking sharp in a smart outfit.

     Bowie's first encore was the ultimate crowd-pleaser "Suffragette City". Garson pounced upon the keys, and the guitarists crunched their rhythms together for this popular rocker. The humorous "Wham Bam, Thank You Maam" lyric was picked up by the entire audience and quoted in an unchoerographed chorus. A spotaneous roar of cheers and applause greeted the climax.

     A strong take of the classic "Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" closed out the Virginian gig. Bowie placed his fingers up against his eyes to look through as he sang. The group paused for Bowie's final lyric for dramatic effect.

     The crowd bestowed a standing ovation for the powerful performance. Flowers and miscellaneous items were tossed upon the stage as gifts for the masterful musician. Bowie and his band made three bows in seperate directions to extend their gratitude for the immense appreciation afforded them by the audience.

Fairfax setlsit: Rebel Rebel * Fashion * New Killer Star * Cactus * Sister Midnight * Hang On To Yourself * All The Young Dudes * Fame * China Girl * The Loneliest Guy * The Man Who Sold The World * Panic In Detroit * Hallo Spaceboy * Heathen (The Rays) > Sunday * Under Pressure * Station To Station * Ashes To Ashes * Quicksand * The Supermen * Loving the Alien * Modern Love * White Light, White Heat * I'm Afraid Of Americans * Heroes * Encore: Suffragette City * Ziggy Stardust

RockonTour   Issue #33
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                  the Single Source for the Concertphile

What's gotten into David Bowie?
An appreciative audience fuels an animated artist

by Timothy Tilghman