Album reviews

09

A review of the album 'A Reality Tour Live in Dublin' by David Bowie

David Bowie - A Reality Tour, live in DublinReview Snapshot: Possible the last ever Bowie Concert to be captured live, before an Irish audience who play their part in helping him deliver an outstanding performance of greatest hits and album classics. 

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: Just over six months after this live concert was recorded, Bowie suffered a heart attack and has since been taking it easy, so what we’ve got here could be one of his last official live recordings, and if it is, what a way to bow out.

Recorded over two nights at Dublin’s Point Depot in November 2003 during his Reality Tour, Bowie gives a thumping performance consisting of his greatest hits and tracks from his recent Heathen and Reality albums.
 
The DVD edition of this concert was released a few years ago, but now for the first time we get a double cd of 33 tracks, three of which didn’t make the DVD version.
 
“We hope you got your sleeping bags and tents because this might be a really long show tonight” proclaims Bowie at the start of a fantastic night’s entertainment.
 
CD1 opens with the classic Rebel Rebel and continues with a mixture of well known gems [Fame, The Man Who Sold the World] and recent album tracks namely New Killer Star and Reality.
 
“You’re not too old for a sing-a-long are you?” he jokes before introducing All the Young Dudes, and there’s a cover of the Pixies ‘Cactus’ thrown in amongst the Bowie compositions.
 
The highlights here are a supreme version of Under Pressure, (a duet with the legendary Gail Ann Dorsey) which Bowie claims makes the song her own, and not a Jedward in sight. This is followed by a slowed down haunting piano-version of Life on Mars which will have the hairs standing on the back of your neck.
 
The second disc opens with 80s classics Ashes to Ashes and Loving the Alien, the latter in a stripped down version which sounds beautiful. Changes and Heroes are mixed in with lesser known, but equally as good tracks including the Reality single Never Get Old and Bring Me the Disco King.
 
For those that have the DVD of this concert, there’s the inclusion of three previously unreleased bonus tracks to cherish, the best of these being Breaking Glass, and the superb China Girl on which Bowie sneaks in the f-word.
 
What makes this a great album, is not just a brilliant band, or a great production, but we get to hear the real Bowie also as his banter between tracks is sincere and enjoyable, and with the thin white duke suffering a heart attack only months after this performance, this could be the last time we get to hear him live on record. As it says on the cd sleeve, this concert was recorded “in front of emotionally charged audiences” and on this evidence Bowie is giving as good as he’s getting.
 
Mick Lynch

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