DAVID BOWIE DATE: AUGUST 4, 1997 FROM: MITCH SCHNEIDER ORGANIZATION DAVID LIVE: BOWIE TO TOUCH DOWN IN NORTH AMERICA SEPTEMBER 6 WITH SIX-WEEK INTIMATE VENUE TREK; BOWIE'S MANDARIN VERSION OF SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET' CONTINUES TO TOP HONG KONG CHARTS-- MAKING HIM THE FIRST NON-ASIAN ARTIST EVER TO REACH #1
Inspired by the vibe and intimacy of playing ballrooms last fall on the East Coast while recording his critically acclaimed EARTHLING CD (Virgin) in NYC, DAVID BOWIE is set to launch a six-week North American tour September 6 that will bring him to clubs, ballrooms and theaters through October 18.
This news comes on the heels of the cutting-edge rocker's triumphant in-progress U.K. and European tour this summer where he's been headlining festivals and special club gigs alike, including two sweaty and electrifying nights at London's Hanover Grand, both of which sold out in minutes.
As for BOWIE's last performance on U.S. soil--his sold-out birthday concert at NYC's Madison Square Garden in January--USA Today's Edna Gundersen remarked about the subsequent television special of that show, "In a two-hour-plus show of force, BOWIE flexes undiminished vocal power and effortless cool...BOWIE unleashes heady versions of his finest classics but steers clear of nostalgia by repeatedly guiding ears back to the present." In his New York Times review, Jon Pareles noted that BOWIE "recognize(s) chaos as both danger and opportunity."
BOWIE and his band--guitarist Reeves Gabrels, bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, keyboardist Mike Garson and drummer Zachary Alford--will kick things off September 6 in Vancouver, with dates to follow in Los Angeles at the Universal Amphitheatre on September 13, San Francisco's Warfield on September 15 and 16 and at the Edge in Miami on October 7, to cite a few.
Stops along the tour include return visits to Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Ballroom and Philadelphia's Electric Factory, where BOWIE played last fall. Of that East Coast swing, critics weighed in with heady praise: "Bowie was once 'the man who sold the world'; with a performance like this, he now seems ready to take it back," surmised Ted Drozdowski in the Boston Phoenix, while Glenn Kenny of the New York Daily News proclaimed, "David Bowie gave a sold-out crowd at Roseland Saturday night...a killer show alternating lively new material with powerfully delivered classics in a smaller hall."
In global news, BOWIE has set another precedent: his Mandarin version of the Earthling track "Seven Years In Tibet" is #1 in Hong Kong for the second consecutive week (making him the first-ever non-Asian artist to achieve #1 on the domestic chart). World Music Horizons, the compilation album which features the song as a bonus CD, has already gone gold in Hong Kong in its first week of release. According to Billboard (issue dated 7/26/97), "Wong (a prominent Hong Kong DJ who suggested BOWIE do a Mandarin version of the song) thinks the song's build will work well in Taiwan, where MTV and Channel V interest is high. However, the Tibetan message may have an impact on the song's acceptance within Chinese pop media, as there is fear of reprisal or of alienating Beijing."
"I think it's essential that the Dalai Lama is allowed back into Tibet to continue the cultural and religious heritage of Tibet, among many other things," BOWIE told the Hong Kong daily newspaper South China Morning Post in a June 21 interview.
BOWIE is also featured--with a new song he wrote and recorded titled "Planet Of Dreams"--on Long Live Tibet. It's a compilation album benefiting the Tibet House Trust, a registered charity recognized by the Dalai Lama. Just out in the U.K. on EMI Records, Long Live Tibet also includes tracks from Radiohead, Kula Shaker, Ocean Color Scene featuring Paul Weller, Bjork, Pulp and Blur, among others.
In other news, BOWIE has recorded an entirely new acoustic-based version of "I Can't Read" that will appear in the forthcoming film Ice Storm, set to open the New York film festival on September 26. And it looks like "I Can't Read" will be the first single from the forthcoming soundtrack album on Walter Yetnikoff's new label Velvel Records.
Tour dates are as follows:
DATE CITY/STATE VENUE 9/6 Vancouver, BC Plaza of Nations 9/7 Seattle, WA Paramount 9/10 Denver, CO Mammoth 9/13 Los Angeles, CA Universal Amphitheater 9/15 San Francisco, CA Warfield 9/21 Detroit, MI State Theater 9/24 Montreal, Canada Metropolis 9/27 Toronto, Canada Warehouse/Docks 9/30 Boston, MA Orpheum 10/3 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory 10/7 Miami, FL Chili Pepper 10/10 Atlanta, GA International Ballroom 10/12 Washington, DC Capitol Ballroom 10/15 New York, NY TBA 10/17 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom 10/18 Minneapolis, MN Roy Wilkins Auditorium