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2004-04-05

My Bowie experience was everything I’d hoped it would be (including “not too loud.” Yes!). For starters, the Polyphonic Spree were as adorable as a plateful of puppies. There were about a dozen of them, and they bounded onstage wearing white choir robes and brandishing orchestral instruments (including french horns, flutes, a harp, and – of course! – a theremin). They marched in place like a squadron of scruffy indie-rock angels, belting out anthemic, nonsensical blasts of distilled pop exuberance, like Flaming Lips songs as rendered by the Moscow Youth Orchestra. Brill! I [heart] Polyphonic Spree!

And I bow before Bowie. Say what you will about the man – some things are inviolable facts: 1) Dude knows how to dress. The guy’s fashion sense is off the charts. And he’s married to Iman – with the two of them in such close proximity, I’m surprised the hyper-concentrated style vibes don’t open a vortex to an alternate dimension where it rains Dolce & Gabbana handbags, or something. He looked fantastic. Oh, those jackets! 2) Dude knows on which side his bread is buttered. David Bowie is a rock star. David Bowie has never pretended to be anything but a fame-generating rock machine. He wants your attention, and he wants your money. And he does what it takes to get it, without resorting to childish prima donna paparazzi-courting antics. In other words, when he’s on stage, he’s there to put on a fucking show, motherfuckers. He engaged in witty banter with the audience! He said complimentary things about Canada! He played “Changes,” much to the delight of the bellowing, ambulatory side of beef drunkenly waving a lighter three rows ahead of me! And – oh God – at the end of the super-hyper-extended encore, as he struck the final chord to “Ziggy Stardust,” he planted his feet apart and thrust a fist in the air as the word “BOWIE” flashed in eight-foot-high letters on the screen behind him. Need I say more? I thought not.

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