Fucking awesome. BTW, yes, row AB does mean the second row. From the front. Yes, I really did pay that much money and FUCK YES it was worth it... and I'm not even a huge Bowie fan :) Of course it helps to be able to so close you can pick up every nuance of gesture and expression; plus Bowie has a piercing gaze which makes everyone up front feel like they've made eye contact.
Some rockers disintegrate with age; others, like Bowie, just get better. Bowie worked the audience in a manner that can only be described as energetic and playful. He knows he can make the crowd do anything and he's not afraid of playing with that :) Plus the band were truly awesome - all amazing musicians in their own right; and they all got to shine in this gig. Bowie hadn't been here for 17 years.... what the hell set do you play? The answer was 2 hours and 15 minutes of old stuff, new stuff, instrumental, obscure tracks, massive hits and audience-involved songs.
A sparing but gorgeous stage set was perfectly chosen for the show - simple video screens, a pair of raised catwalks and some hanging white tree branches at the sides. The lighting played off it all really well. The sound was clear; no overdriven speakers here - just massive banks belting out perfectly mixed songs.
I'm surely biased by being so close to the stage; but even so this was an amazing gig. It was a great chance to see the benefit of experience; to watch a rock legend do his thing. The attention to detail was in evidence everywhere - from the way Bowie would work each song, down to his guitar picks being printed with the tour details on one side and "David" on the other (my guess is that each guitarist would have had their own picks done up with their own names as well).
Setlist from bowieNet.news (I'm impressed they've got that posted already):
01 Rebel Rebel 02 New Killer Star 03 Reality 04 Fame 05 Cactus 06 All The Young Dudes 07 China Girl 08 A New Career In A New Town 09 The Loneliest Guy 10 The Man Who Sold The World 11 Hallo Spaceboy 12 Sunday 13 Under Pressure 14 Life On Mars? 15 Looking For Water 16 Be My Wife 17 Days 18 White Light, White Heat 19 Ashes To Ashes 20 I'm Afraid Of Americans 21 "Heroes" (Encore) 22 Always Crashing In The Same Car 23 Five Years 24 Suffragette City 25 Ziggy Stardust
- Starting the show with Rebel Rebel. Yeah.
- Under Pressure - Hollywood (the bassist) sang Freddy Mercury's part and damn near stole the show.
- Super extended version of Sunday. The comment was made afterwards that they should have put that version on the album instead of the shorter version.
- Hallo Spaceboy and I'm Afraid Of Americans. Pure, unadulterated rock'n'roll absolutely went off.
- Bowie: "....there's a great band reforming, called The Pixies..." (big roar from the crowd) "Good for you, Brisbane... you really know your stuff!" [or words to that effect - can't remember the exact wording] I like that, despite the expectation Brisbane people wouldn't know who The Pixies are :)
- Ending the encore with Ziggy Stardust; and ending Ziggy Stardust with Bowie standing in front of a huge video screen with simple black and white letters spelling out BOWIE. It came off as glorious without being (too) egotistical.
...and if you think I'm going on a bit, I'll put you in touch with the fanatical fans I went with :)