David Bowie - The Reality Tour
The Point Depot, Dublin, 23 November 2003
"I hope you brought your sleeping bags with you tonight, as it's gonna be a long night". So said David Bowie early in his second of two sell-out shows at the Point Theatre. And he meant every word of it.
Strutting on stage at 9:00pm he began with 'Rebel Rebel' and the new familiar tracks 'New Killer Star' and 'Reality' from the current album. He then treated the crowd to 'Fame', and during the Pixies cover Cactus he took off his jacket as the temperatures reached a new level.
"We've a new set-list for your tonight" he insisted, "as some of you were probably here last night" he added. "Here's another new song" he joked, before Irish guitarist Gerry Leonard started the famous guitar riff of 'All The Young Dudes'.
Bowie continued with 'Be My Wife', before auditioning some more new material in the form of 'Days' and the beautiful balled 'The Loneliest Guy'. In between we were treated to the excellent 'China Girl' (on which he changed the lyrics to "oh baby just you shut the fuck up").
Introducing 'The Man Who Sold The World' he said "This next song is one I haven't done before, until this tour". The crowd loved it and sang along with every word. He was so impressed that by the end of it he added "you're a great crowd, and it's a fucking pleasure playing for you".
Next up was 'Hallo Spaceboy', and his bassist Gail Ann Dorsey duetted with him on 'Under Pressure'. 'Life On Mars' brought the house down, and received continuous standing ovations leaving Bowie speechless.
He continued with 'The Letter', 'Fall Dog Bombs The Moon', 'Ashes To Ashes' and 'The Motel 'amongst others before delighting the crowd with his comments "We're only half-way through the set". More favourites followed like 'Loving The Alien', 'Breaking Glass' and 'Changes' (which was mixed in with the new single 'Never Get Old').
After over two hours on stage he ended with 'I'm Afraid Of Americans' and 'Heroes'. As the 8,000 audience roared for more, back he came with another track from the 'Reality' album in the form of 'Bring Me The Disco King'. The encore consisted of another five songs, including 'Five Years', 'Suffragette City', as he rounded off the perfect evening with 'Ziggy Stardust'. It was now almost midnight, almost three hours since he walked on stage, and definitely the latest finish I can recollect at a Point concert.
I had the privilege of meeting the great man backstage afterwards, and he seemed genuinely impressed with the Irish crowd. So impressed in fact, that the two Irish concerts were recorded for a DVD release next year. Whether he was performing for the DVD or the Irish fans, there's no doubt that Bowie is back to his best. And that's reality.
Check out the setlist used
at Bowie's 1997 gig in Brescia, Italy.