The Olympia, Dublin - August 8

by Arabia

Wow, the best Bowie concert experience of my life! This show was simply stunning... I've never seen Bowie so relaxed and so willing to converse with crowd. In part, this was due to the very warm response he received from the audience - positively burning, which set him on fire. Phew!

Yep, it was a warm night which just got hotter and hotter as the midnight hour approached. The band sound was very tight - the bass not as gut-wrenching as the night of The Factory. Battle for Britain has really grown on me - it was my least favourite track on the Earthling album. It's a stomping, relentless, infectious song live. The Hearts Filthy Lesson sounded much better this time around than on the Outside tour. Also Queen Bitch and Waiting for the Man were delivered with far more confidence and gusto than their first outings back in May.

This band just gets stronger and stronger with each performance. They really seem to put their hearts into the set - if there are any feelings of boredom/tediousness with the songs or fatigue from the rituals of touring, they are firmly left waiting in the wings (along with time.... sorry, couldn't resist!!)

Some of you may be interested to hear that the porn images projected during Fashion were a lot more low-key in Dublin than they were in Paris. Toned down for good 'ol "Catholic Ireland" perhaps? Maybe, but it's worth noting that the video images weren't as many or as obvious in the smaller venue compared to the arena equipped with screens as a further visual aid.

Amongst the highlights, apart from every song on the set, apart from all the miming, posing and frolics, was witnessing David Bowie, stand-up comedian in action. Let's see, did you know that "the Blues were invented around the corner from Trinity"? (Trinity being a university in Dublin.) Well, DB was "flabbergasted" by this. He would have been further flabbergasted if he'd discovered that the Blues had actually been invented around the corner from UCD (University College Dublin)... but that's another story...

Then there was the moment when the artful codger turned to his wife and friends sitting in the boxes and asked them, "did you pay more money for your seats? I bet you didn't!" The crowd playfully booed at them which prompted David to chant, "down with the boxes!"

Yep, you really had to be there... He even voiced "ha, ha , ha, hee, hee, hee" at one point and feigned complete ignorance and stupefaction when the audience returned those notorious Gnome lyrics.

A special mention once again for Gail. Her performance of O Superman is utterly compelling. Surely this will be released? And as for V-2 Schneider, the quality of the drum 'n' bass sound was much improved from The Factory. It's an incredible, inspired re-working of this instrumental.

Lodger being one of my favourite Bowie albums, it was a treat to hear Look Back in Anger once more. The show ended with a ripping version of All the Young Dudes which blew away the Spiders' cobweb rendition of the previous night. As I glanced at Woody Woodmansey and Trevor Bolder I wondered what they made of the 50 year old David Bowie?

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This document last updated Tuesday, 15-Sep-1998 21:30:47 EDT
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