...busting up my brains for the words

Sunday, December 05, 2004

A Reality Tour dvd

My friend Riskitall gave me a copy of this video for my birdday last week.

I saw Bowie play three shows on this tour. Chronologically, those would be Minneapolis' Target Center, Chicago's Rosemont Theater and Austin, TX's Backyard bar. This dvd is a terrific memento to those shows or any shows that may have been seen in over 100 live concerts
throughout that tour. Bowie played Europe and the States and the whole world. My favorite show was at Austin, Texas.

The video plays like the concert, opening with the backscreen computer generated images of New York City, the transAtlantic flight and the band on stage. It occurred to me whilst watching this, Damn! I wasted my money seeing these shows live! The video is so much closer and the sound is that much cleaner. If you believe I'm being sincere then you don't know when I'm putting you on. Far from it, attending these shows was awesome. I met so many great people and experienced so much great music and fun.

Scanning the song list (and it is quite long) it seems to my best recollection that the only number here that I never witnessed live on the tour is Sister Midnight, a song Bowie penned for Mr. James Osterberg aka Iggy Pop. I'm very glad it's on this disk as it's a great song.
There are improvements this disk accomplishes over the live show, imho. For instance, by the third time I'd heard Heathen (the Rays) live, I'd come to the conclusion that Gerry Leonard's guitarwork was decidedly inferior to the beautiful Tony Visconti studio electronics. This video sweetens the sound to the satisfaction of this critic, with no complaint.
Also, it was common knowledge that Bowie was using the vintage Stylophone live in his performance of Slip Away, but I never got a good look at the instrument until seeing my video. Deffo kewl.
I never got the crunch I felt my ears needed (not to mention my chest cavity) when I heard this great band play Cactus live. But this video delivers the crunch. Bigtime. I got crunched to my very soul. Earl Slick is god. Love those guitars.
Sitting in my easy chair at home watching Bowie and band play All The Young Dudes, I got the same shivers up and down my spine as I'd felt in three concert halls. That number is a true communion of Bowie genius and is perhaps the true core of all that is great in David Bowie. So much fun to sing along with David on this one.

Speaking of the breadth of this video, it is very wide; a spot on capturing of the man's impressive career. That's why Bowie fans were so happy about this show. And now it's on our media shelves and in our servos.

If I had to criticize anything about this video it would be that there are no easter eggs. Hey. We BowieNutters like our secrets and our magic passageways. Tease us, we love it.

However, one other plus I give this video is the inclusion of a little piece of the Uncle Floyd television show. Bowie wrote the aforementioned Slip Away as an homage to this zany New Jersey children's program. In the concert, Bowie played a sound loop from the show. But here on video, we are treated with the image as well. Back in 1984 I was also a rock musician in New York City. When we knocked off practice we would find a t.v. and watch Uncle Floyd. To learn that Bowie and his mates were tuned in to this hilarious show was just another connection between my own lonely spirit and David Bowie. Of course, I didn't learn this until Heathen came out in 2002. He has influenced me more than any other artist.

So, yes, I am very happy to own this gift. Thank you Riskitall! Riskitall is my BowieNet friend of Austin, Texas. He's a Bowie fan and he's Right.

Aside from no easter eggs on this disk, it is very smartly packaged. It contains a programmable jukebox so the owner may manipulate the song order and omissions if desired. It also has the obligatory Stereo/5.1 switch. I haven't figured out which sounds best on my minimalist system. Prolly doesn't matter to me now, but in the event that I get a home theater system it will matter a great deal.
I also like the Bowie Discography loaded here. It's a nice review of Bowie's entire recording career. And let me tell you that even for a Bowiefile, I need all the refreshment on those details that I can get, as it's easy to forget how it panned out over the years.

I don't need to remember how. It's all right here on this little shiny silver disk.


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