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Loving The Arena

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK on 20 November 2003

 

   

Covers Available

 

Source: Audience Sound Quality: CCCCC Art Work: CCC

Kings of Oblivion totally screws up the tracklisting on CD 2.

 

Track Listing

 

Disc 1 Disc 2

Intro

Battle For Britain (The Letter)

Rebel Rebel

Loving The Alien

New Killer Star

Days
Sister Midnight Never Get Old
Reality Changes
Fame I'm Afraid Of Americans
Cactus "Heroes"
Fall Dog Bombs The Moon Fantastic Voyage
China Girl Heathen (The Rays)

All The Young Dudes

Five Years

The Loneliest Guy

Hang On To Yourself

The Man Who Sold The World

Ziggy Stardust

Hallo Spaceboy

Sunday

Under Pressure/Happy Birthday

Life On Mars?
Ashes To Ashes

 

 

DB attempts to pluck GAD's strings in Birmingham tonight. Pic by Celine Caux.

Black Country Rock...Part 2

The second Birmingham show of David Bowie's A Reality Tour took the NEC by storm this evening, on what really was Gail Ann Dorsey's 41st birthday this time. (See earlier news piece.)

A 28-song set was played again, but with some significant changes, including the re-introduction of the following: Sister Midnight, Fall Dog Bombs The Moon, All The Young Dudes, Battle For Britain (The Letter), Days, Fantastic Voyage and Hang On To Yourself.

After the confusion of Gail's birthdate (How did that happen?), David, who obviously knew the real date all along, decided to celebrate publicly with thousands of Bowie fans at the NEC. After Under Pressure, DB got Gail to stand at the front of the stage facing the audience while he went and fetched her a birthday cake, complete with lit candles.

 

"God's a bitch!" DB explains why the candles are out!

However, as he approached the birthday girl from behind, the onstage fan blew out the candles! David rescued the moment by explaining that God had blown them out because he's a bitch... or something along those lines.

Thanx once more to the quite brilliant, and very French Celine Caux for the fantastic shots from tonight's show, and to the diminutive, but equally French, Adeline Cantais for last night's Birmingham show picture. Thanx also to the regulars that phone in the setlist etc., including Susans and Lord Of The Things.

 

Odd eyes himself in Birmingham tonight. Supposedly 56!

 

Birmingham Post - Bowie wows NEC by Andrew Cowen

 

"Who mentioned Manchester?" David Bowie squares up for
the first night in Birmingham. Pic by BNetter Adeline Cantais.

 

It's also fortuitous that his past couple of albums have seen him on consistent writing form. Heathen showed that the old master still had the imagination to wed the avant garde to hook-laden populism while this year's Reality is his best effort since Scary Monsters.

With a crack band too, including shaven-headed bassist Gail Ann Dorsey and Old Mucker Mike Garson on keyboards, strangely, for a man used to reinventing himself, the show was played pretty much straight down the middle.

Bowie himself looked remarkably fresh faced, far younger and healthier than anyone with his past dare hope for. A decorative stage set and excellent lighting set the scene but with the singer in top form vocally, little was needed in the way of props.

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Bolton Evening News - David Bowie, hip again after all those years by KAREN STEPHEN

THERE'S only one really weird thing about pop's most celebrated oddball these days . . . his voice. It's not natural to be able to sing like that, especially at the age of 57. (Blam note: Or even at the age of 56) Time hasn't stood still for David Bowie, it's gone in reverse. He looks and sounds better than he did 20 years ago.

And at the Manchester Arena on Monday night the Thin White Duke showed why he is hip again after all these years. Bowie is pure class. He let his band make the big entrance and then strolled on stage to astonish the masses with his powerful and flawless new take on the 1974 gem, Rebel Rebel.

...With all this adulatory prose you could be forgiven for thinking that Bowie was preaching to the converted. Wrong. I wasn't a die-hard fan before. I am now.

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BBC Manchester - David Bowie at the MEN Arena

His genius is in his unpredictability, and it was this loose gun approach that pushed the energy into this performance. Life On Mars was stripped down to reveal his stunning voice, Fame received a welcome airing, The Loneliest Guy saw him lost in a breathtaking moment, Heroes broke out of its bleakness to reveal a truly empowering sound, and the beautiful Five Years unexpectedly showed its face.

Bowie drew attention to the crowd several times, a little perplexed that his all action performance wasn't drawing more of a reaction from the assembled. The truth is it was. If the audience were subdued, it was because they stood in awe. After all, it's not every day you see your god.