Always nice with a concert review from the time when glam was in its heyday! Enjoy.
Ziggy in New York City
Chuck Pulin reports from Carnegie Hall
Thursday night in New York. Outside Carnegie Hall a huge spotlight (normally reserved for Hollywood premieres and before that, plane spotting World War Two-style) straffs across the sell-out audience gathering outside. This is the night David Bowie must find success for Ziggy Stardust – must cement all the publicity, all the quotes, all the flamboyance that has winged its way to the States from Britain in the past six months.
Well the audience were certainly in the mood to get involved in every way – they turned up as only New Yorkers could, more heavily glittered, more mincing, more stupendously dressed and made up (male and female) than anything from an Andy Warhol film factory. Everyone was busy watching their own reflections in the foyer.
Lights blazed on multi-coloured hair, boys in specially sprayed masks… camp followers in more ways than one. Todd Rundgren was spotted fighting his way through to his seat, Andy Warhol-natch-turned up with his entourage. The scene was set for Ziggy Stardust – to reflect and be reflected in the thousands of up-turned expectant, mascared, rouged faces.
As the lights dimmed the march from Kubrick`s “Clockwork Orange” flooded through the hall – hitting its climax instantaneously with three strobe lights which played on the entrance of the band so that they looked like a Buster Keaton movie.
Some of the audience was already on its feet cheering – the rest were lighting up in preparation – and Ziggy was on in gold lame and into “Changes”.
The band, Ronson, Boulder and Woodman, were supplemented by US keyboard player Mike Garrison, a New York piano teacher, and it seemed a shame that often the fine rock and roll playing from the band was overlooked in the enthusiasm for Bowie himself.
Still, a nice acoustic version of “Space Oddity” came over with good results and “White Heat, White Light” took the crowd up and off for a five minute standing ovation and even stopped the dancing couples that had been literally jitterbugging in the aisles earlier in the set.
Carnegie Hall was possibly Bowie`s most important American date. It`s New York that seals artists` status. Audiences` and critics` approval here is all important to the final judgement even though it`s usual that the out of town dates have more say in making or breaking an artist.
As far as Bowie`s concerned his entourage must have been very encouraged by Thursday night, and it appears that outside gigs – like Cleveland and Memphis – have already sold out.
At Carnegie Hall ticket touts were offering tickets for 30 dollars a piece for the show – and so well have sales for Bowie`s concerts been going that apparently a further 15 dates have been added to his US intinerary.
I didn`t feel the amount of hype watching Bowie as I`ve sometimes felt coming off these kind of artists in the past. The audience on Thursday did seem to be totally involved, captured by image, but equally wrapped up in the music.
I`d say Bowie is attracting the same kind of audiences as Alice Cooper brings in and it looks very likely that the success on Thursday will bring Bowie back to New York – this time for Madison Square.
Bowie was tired and not too well on Thursday night. He`d had `flu all day and because he won`t fly endured long trips overland for his gigs.
Nevertheless, he came to conquer New York and he did conquer the audience at Carnegie. RCA Records have just announced plans to re-issue much of Bowie`s material – including “Space Oddity” and “Man Who Sold The World” albums.
It seems that where T. Rex have suffered, Bowie`s won through.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Dan Hicks, Home, Tom Paxton, Camel, Dave Davies, Chick Corea, Mott The Hoople, Jimi Hendrix, Stackridge, Alan Hull, Lindisfarne, Danny Seiwell, Natural Acoustic Band, Dando Shaft, Slade.
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