BOWIE'S 2002 TOUR
"BOWIE... seemed every bit as rejuvenated on stage as he does on his new Heathen album. BOWIE... devoted two-thirds of his set to songs that were 20 or even 30 years old. But the move didn't seem like a surrender to the commercial reality that fans want to hear the familiar. On reason is that the material, from the icy paranoia of 1975's 'Fame' to the glorious idealism of 1977's 'Heroes,' still seem fresh, both because of the quality of the songs and because the Englishman and his excellent seven-piece band - including longtime sidekicks Earl Slick on guitar and Mike Garson on keyboards - have rethought most of them stylistically. Equally important, the six songs from the new album held their own in that classy company - reassurance that BOWIE remains a vital artist who's not depending on the oldies to hold fans' attention... the key new songs, including the wistful 'Slip Away' and the delicate '5:15 The Angels Have Gone,' touch on a tender, vulnerable strain that has also run through much of BOWIE's music. When he went into 'Heroes,' the audience exploded with cheering that suggested both respect and affection for this veteran figure, whose singing remains as commanding as ever."
- Robert Hilburn, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 8/15/02
"DAVID BOWIE is timeless perfection... (he) stole the show at Moby's Area2 Festival last night at the Molson Amphitheatre with an hour-and-a-half set that began and ended with two cherished classics from his 30-year-plus catalogue – 'Life On Mars' and 'Ziggy Stardust.' ...his voice (was) in top form... Among the new songs, Bowie's covers of the Pixies' 'Cactus' and Neil Young's 'I've Been Waiting For You' stood up well alongside such expansive-sounding originals as 'Slip Away,' 'I Would Be Your Slave,' '5:15 The Angels Have Gone' and Heathen's title track."
- Jane Stevenson, TORONTO SUN, 8/6/02 (Rating: 5 out of 5)
"DAVID BOWIE has been putting on some of the best shows of his recent career. He began with an intimate take on 'Life on Mars' and then moved into an 85-minute set that elegantly fused classics with contemporary work. A cover of the Pixies' 'Cactus' and the lament 'Slip Away' are the best songs from his new album, Heathen. They sounded strong, even next to a loungy 'Changes' and commanding versions of 'Heroes' and 'Ziggy Stardust.'"
- Isaac Guzman, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 8/5/02
"BOWIE was stylishly smooth... alternating songs from his impressive new Heathen album, including his rocking cover of The Pixies' 'Cactus,' with such timeless classics as 'Fame' and 'Ashes to Ashes,' which sound as current today as they did more than two decades ago. He played off the rainstorm, catching raindrops on his tongue and arguing with the heavens before launching into 'I Would Be Your Slave.' ...BOWIE whipped the crowd into a frenzy with a rousing version of 'Heroes,' to 'keep spirits high,' he said, as sheets of rain began to fall."
- Glen Gamboa, NEWSDAY, 8/502
"...There was BOWIE gliding across the stage like a tuxedoed vision from a 1930s cabaret... crooning hits ('Heroes,' 'Ziggy Stardust')... and oddball covers (the Pixies' 'Cactus,' Neil Young's 'I've Been Waiting for You') with equally persuasive assurance."
- Greg Kot, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/6/02
"(BOWIE) was in fine voice, easily crescendoing from low croons to his early material's trademark high notes. His seven-piece band, which included stalwart guitarist Earl Slick, was proficient in delivering BOWIE's material from his impressive new Heathen album and reworked versions of older standards like 'Ashes To Ashes,' 'China Girl' and the still-funkified 'Fame'... The Heathen songs segued remarkably well into this 85-minute retrospective, from the moody 'Slip Away' and '5:15 The Angels Have Gone' to a lush cover of the Pixies' 'Cactus.'
- Neva Chonin, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 8/16/02
"Experiencing resurgent interest thanks to his acclaimed, emotionally astute new album, Heathen... After an attention-seizing opening - a lovely piano-and-voice rendition of 'Life On Mars?' into a glittering 'Ashes To Ashes' and a smashing 'Breaking Glass' - his show flowed in dynamic groupings. The melancholy elegy 'Slip Away' spilling into the cool groove of 'Stay' and a much heavier version of 'Fame.' Best of all: the moving trio of '5:15 The Angels Have Gone' to 'Heroes' to 'Heathen (The Rays),' with BOWIE's still-commanding voice collapsing into a series of anguished cries. It was one of the great performances of the year..."
- Ben Wener, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 8/15/02
"His impressive performance proved that BOWIE is still a performer to be reckoned with and also made a case for Heathen, as tunes such as 'Slip Away' and 'Cactus' held their own beside 'Breaking Glass' and 'Heroes.'"
- Steven Mirkin, DAILY VARIETY, 8/15/02
"...(BOWIE) proved he's one of the best songwriters in rock 'n' roll, period. Highlights of his total pleasure of a set included the new 'Slip Away,' with its sad-eyed, haunting grandeur, and the spare syncopated '5:15 The Angels Have Gone.'"
- Daina Darzin Manning, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 8/15/02
"The still-beautiful Thin White Duke...mixed guitar-loaded songs from his sublime new album, Heathen, with a smattering of faithfully delivered classics, including 'Ashes to Ashes,' 'Heroes' and ' Let's Dance.' ...BOWIE closed with an incendiary 'Ziggy Stardust,' his voice sounding otherworldly wonderful as it did all those eons ago."
- Sean Daly, WASHINGTON POST, 7/30/02
"BOWIE...played a dignified career-spanning set that was a crash course for the unsuspecting ravers. His voice was as steely and sinuous as ever, even when taking things down an octave on the show-opening 'Life on Mars' and a taut 'Ashes to Ashes.' He played seven songs from his new Heathen album; '5:15 The Angels Have Gone' with its romantic waves of harmony, and the elegiac 'Slip Away' both echoed the spirit of his '70s glory days. His guitar foil, the well-preserved Earl Slick, breathed searing fire into a rearranged 'Let's Dance' and set-closing 'Ziggy Stardust.' BOWIE has avoided both songs in recent years, yet they represent two of the legendary performer's strongest suits: suave soul and preening glitter-rock."
- Patrick Berkery, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/01/02
"Breezing between old and new material... nearly flawless musical time capsule."
- Christopher Muther, BOSTON GLOBE, 8/5/02
"...a hot 90-minute set of his own that deftly combined classics, newer tunes and a few obscure album cuts... He sounded sensational, as did his tight backing band... Newer tunes such as the winsome acoustic pop number 'Everyone Says Hi'... fit in with ease."
- Sarah Rodman, BOSTON HERALD, 8/4/02
"...it was later material–the electro-shocked 'I'm Afraid Of Americans' and 'Hallo Spaceboy,' the '80s standard 'Let's Dance,' a massive cover of Neil Young's 'I've Been Waiting For You' and the brooding title track from his excellent new Heathen disc–that kept most of the crowd on its feet."
- Ben Rayner, TORONTO STAR, 8/6/02
"It was Moby's festival, but BOWIE's night when Area2 opened at Nissan Pavilion outside of Washington, D.C., Sunday, July 28. Though every act on the bill performed admirably, BOWIE's set was the most stirring, as befits a rock legend who continues to defy irrelevance. Smiling shyly to a thunderous welcome, he opened with a chilling near acappela version of 'Life on Mars.' Still slender, pale, and rock royalty, the former Thin White Duke now adds gracious charm to cutting-edge cool. He mixed a careful selection of tunes from Heathen with classics like 'Ashes to Ashes' and 'China Girl,' old and new personas melding comfortably. As an encore, a teasing-slow intro blossomed into an explosive 'Let's Dance,' plus the endearing new track 'Everyone Says Hi.'"
- Marianne Meyer, CDNOW, 7/30/02
"...through outstanding songs and sheer animal magnetism, BOWIE owns Area2. He played seven songs from his critically lauded, Heathen. They crackled with intensity. When 'Ziggy's' crashing opening chords hit, and Mr. BOWIE faded in with that familiar, sky-high 'Ahhhhh, yeah,' the pavilion erupted, proving the timelessness of the 30-year-old song's tale of sex, rock n' roll and alienation."
- Tim Lawson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/30/02
"BOWIE was the life of the party Tuesday night... one of the most relaxed, playful, sex performances I've seen in the 25 years I've attended his concerts. Happily celebrating his past without sacrificing the present, BOWIE mugged, joked, danced, flirted and sung his heart out in a 90-minute, 15-song performance that stretched from the rarely performed 'Life on Mars' from the early '70s to the cerebral '5:15 The Angels Have Gone' from the new album."
- Doug Pullen, FLINT JOURNAL (Michigan) 8/7/02
"BOWIE strode onstage in a three-piece suit, but quickly shed his jacket for a cover of the Pixies' 'Cactus,' performed with the attitude of a twentysomething. Maintaining an air of playfulness throughout his 90-minute set, BOWIE and his stellar band glided through the ethereal ballad 'Slip Away' from the emotionally satisfying 'Heathen' before dishing out some classics. 'China Girl' was infused with a thick guitar solo, and many a sexy grin from BOWIE; BOWIE chewed the fat off of 'Fame' until only its lean, funky core remained, while 'Heroes' soared with a tinge of restructuring."
- Melissa Ruggieri, RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH, 7/30/02
"...BOWIE's strongest vocal performance in years. BOWIE - always one of rock's great band leaders - guided his seven-piece group through a variety of pop styles from the T Rex-style boogie of 'Cactus,' to the atmospheric-but-catchy 'I Would Be Your Slave,' to the frothy 'Everyone Says Hi.' He exited with a galvanizing 'Ziggy Stardust' that provided one of the more potent in-concert moments in recent memory. In addition to the ensemble work of the band, the performance was enhanced by some of the best live vocal work BOWIE has delivered in years."
- Chuck Darrow, CAMDEN COURIER POST (New Jersey), 8/01/02
"It was impossible not to fall in love with everything presented from that disc (Heathen), on which BOWIE returns to his classic experimental rock heyday."
- Andy Argyrakis, DAILY JOURNAL (Chicago), 8/09/02
"DAVID BOWIE was, to say it simply, astounding..."
- Chris J. Walker, SAN BERNARDINO SUN, 8/15/02
"Stunning...During Tuesday's show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, I realized I can brag to future generations that I've seen the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Sex Pistols, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan - just as long as I don't mention that those shows were a decade or three past their respective heydays. Yet I can proudly say I saw BOWIE in '02... The dramatic airs of his new material - the build of 'I've Been Waiting For You,' the darker atmospherics of '5:15 The Angels Have Gone,' the operatic drama of 'Heathen' - fit well with the older selections, perhaps the ultimate testament to BOWIE's continuing artistry."
- Cathy Maestri, RIVERSIDE PRESS ENTERPRISE, 8/15/02
"BOWIE looked and sounded fresh... The man is nothing if not new and alternative... and the day he doesn't live in the now is the day he doesn't matter as much... there's something undeniably magnetic about BOWIE..."
- Tony Hicks, CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 8/17/02
"DAVID BOWIE got the biggest response, with a taut, tight, heavy-on-the-bass 90-minute set..."
- Marian Liu and Brad Kava, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/16/02
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