Times Leader - 2nd June 2004

Killer Star

By Megan Rowlands

David Bowie reminds the glitter girls and boys what real concerts are made of: great songs, showmanship and sex appeal.

Last Thursday David Bowie came to Montage Mountain with a lethal combination: the un-faltering egotism of a rock and roll god combined with the ballroom finesse of a bonafide sex symbol. When one man can give women ages 20 to 60 dry mouths and sweaty palms and get their husbands punk rockin' in their seats, it becomes clear you're in the presence of a living legend.

On the road for his "In Reality" tour, Bowie and his universally talented six-piece backing band took the stage for a two-hour, 24-song set filled with both classic Bowie hits that sparkled like new and newer material played with the precision of the classics.

From his actions, Bowie thoroughly enjoyed himself the entire time.

Dressed as part-Bohemian pirate, part-art school punk, Bowie made his first appearance by rushing onstage to the familiar thump of "Rebel, Rebel," with fists pumping, hands clapping and wearing an ear-to-ear grin.

His energy was radiant from the get-go, which jump started the crowd of 6,700 strong on this chilly NEPA evening. His voice sounded crystal clear, flawless as if it had been cryogenically preserved since 1972. A cover of the Pixies "Cactus" which appears on Bowie's 2002 album, "Heathen," was a sweet surprise, though 95% of the crowd seemed clueless to the tune, they happily danced along anyway.

Next came two new tunes "New Killer Star" and "Looking for Water," both of which Bowie and crew performed with intense affinity, Bowie often burying himself deep into the music.

Such a pattern took shape throughout the night, as Bowie extraordinarily played the role of super rock star for his older gems and morphed into a much more serious and introspective performer for his newer material.

He maintained a strong connection with the worshiping glitter girls and boys below, whether it was through genuine gestures or entertaining personal stories.

And Bowie was funny up there. Really.

Before launching into a rousing version of "All the Young Dudes," Bowie politely told the crowd not to sing along, which, of course, made them yelp the "Boog-a-loo-doos" that much louder. Afterward, Bowie tisked, "Now I'm really upset. For that you're gonna get something from the 80s." Here he unleashed "China Girl," in which our hero swallowed a mosquito mid-song, he later revealed.

Other highlights from the night included a very interactive "Hallo Spaceboy;" the crisp, pulsing "Under Pressure;" the sexy, snarky ass kick of "Afraid of Americans;" and a built-up encore of "Ziggy Stardust."

Throughout it all, Bowie exuded a rock and roll confidence that's unseen these days. Whether thrusting his hips like a sexed-up school boy or walking the stage like a snaky super model, David Bowie showed Montage Mountain post-androgyny at its finest.