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by Charles Shaar Murray - New Musical Express (26 August 1972)
David Bowie's show is definitely a spectacular in the grand tradition. A Bowie concert is your real old Busky Berkeley production. Bring on the dancing girls - or rather the Astronettes with Lindsay Kemp, wheel on the dry ice machine and put some mystique back into the whole deal.
...Lou Reed later described Bowie's set as "amazing, incredible, stupendous - the greatest thing I've ever seen." While Lou is not exactly the most impartial of observers on things Bowie, he knows a good show when he sees one, and this was perhaps the most consciously theatrical rock show ever staged - and, by and by, it made Alice (Cooper) look like a third form dramatic society. With a multi-level stage, a light show, sawdust on the floor, the Spiders in all their glory and backstage Mathew Fisher playing piano, it could hardly fail and it didn't.
Right from his entrance walking through a cloud of dry ice up to the microphone to sing "Lady Stardust" (while the face of Marc Bolan was projected onto a screen by his side) Bowie provided a thoroughly convincing demonstration of his ascendancy over any other soloist in rock today.
With perhaps the finest body of work of any contemporary songwriter, and the resources to perform this work to its utmost advantage, there really isn't anything going that tops the current Ziggy show. Other more basic performances have got me off more and higher - Hendrix, the Dead, Berry, Winter, Steeleye and the Crows to name a handful - but David Bowie has stuff going for him that most people haven't even thought of yet. And he's got nice legs, too.
---This page last modified: 14 Dec 2018---