Norwich Bulletin - 4 June 2004

'The man who fell to Earth' hits the Sun

By Andrea McKenna

He has played a myriad of characters: The Slim White Duke, a goblin king, Andy Warhol, a dying vampire and Pontius Pilate. But David Bowie's best role is the quintessential rock star. At 57, the singer still shines, with his statuesque persona and smooth voice that moved easily from the whisper of "Under Pressure" to hurricane wind of "Ziggy Stardust."

His performance Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena was nothing short of dramatic.

Rather than play just a hit list, Bowie managed to fit in songs from every decade. He opened with the '70's glam-rock anthem "Rebel, Rebel," getting the crowd going early and leaving them relieved about when he would play that particular, radio-friendly song.

Bowie also paid homage to Mott The Hoople, with a particularly entertaining commentary before and after the song "All the Young Dudes." Bowie blasted out "China Girl," paired with a blood-red video screen, but not before alluding to the sing-along tendencies of "Dudes."

When the song came up next on the set list, Bowie cut the sound to let the crowd sing the chorus, only to realize they didn't know all the words. After, he kindly explained the words following "all the young dudes," which was something along the lines of "boo-galoo-doos."

Bowie chatted amicably with the crowd like a television talk show host, in between such '70s songs as "The Man Who Sold the World," (also made famous by Kurt Colbain's cover in the '90s) '80s songs as "Let's Dance" and several pieces from his work with Tin Machine in the '90s.

Bowie's entire 90-plus minute set was powerful and ethereal at the same time. But three hugely moving songs stand out as arm-in-arm crowd sing-alongs. One was the ever-relevant ballad "Under Pressure," with due respect paid to the late Freddie Mercury of Queen, who did the duet with Bowie in the '70s. Another was from the desperate cry of "Heroes." The final was the timeless saga of "Ziggy Stardust." Ziggy played guitar; and Bowie really sang.