Hurrah for New York City, which David Bowie made his home for many years and which hosts events like last night’s gigantic starry tribute to him – albeit in a sticky-floored concrete box crowded like the rush-hour 6. It was worth it.
The remarkable artists included but were not limited to (in no particular order) trippy-amazing Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Angelo Moore (Dr. Madd Vibe), Adrian Belew, the Harlem Gospel Choir, Bernard Fowler, Darren Criss, goddess of the bass and voice Gail Ann Dorsey, and the astonishing new-to-me Gaby Moreno. I was also tickled by the special guest appearance of International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield. (You remember him.)
I was way in the back among the pot-smokers,* but it sounded just as good from there, and it let me watch the audience doing the ‘Starman’ finger-waggle or the ‘All the Young Dudes’ wave. I was the only one I could spot at the ‘Fashion’ bunny hop, though. Maybe a good thing it was dark in there.
The setlist. Perhaps a touch overbalanced toward the glam period, but I’m not complaining.
Just about everything was spectacular. Particular highs* were Moreno’s ‘Five Years’ (whoa), Darren Criss’ ‘Changes’ (slightly off on the words, I think, but sounded great), Dorsey’s ‘Space Odyssey,’ and everybody on ‘Diamond Dogs.’ Plus the creatively cavorting caped Angelo Moore belting the fuzz out of ‘Ashes to Ashes’ and ‘Moonage Daydream.’
And then there was the thrill of several hundred people yelling “oooOOOOH WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM” in perfect time. The whole thing ended with the divine fun of Bowie’s original recording of ‘Modern Love,’ when everyone who’d thought they were done dancing came back and danced again.
I’m a lousy photographer, but here are a few more shiny snaps:
The capper on the evening, marking one full year since Bowie’s death, was this marvelous tweet:
Next: Extras! Read all about it –
*What is this, Haddon Hall? Mary Jane was not the Thin White Duke’s drug of choice, folks. Not that I encourage coke-snorting, but at least it creates less of a haze.