The David Bowie Alumni Tour made a stop in Chicago for a celebration of the life and works of the late musician.
If there was anything that proves David Bowie may be gone, but is far from forgotten, is the fact that a tour like this draws such an enthusiastic crowd three years after his death. The lineup consists of a variety of musicians who played with Bowie throughout various times in his lengthy and illustrious career. The first to take to the stage was keyboardist and band leader, Mike Garson. Garson is the longest-standing member of Bowie’s bands, who has performed with him an impression 1,000 times, including his first and last shows in the United States. Following the musician’s passing, Garson pulled this tour together, taking it from city to city, often with the appearance of some very special guests.
The show consisted of a rotation of singers, with The Rolling Stones’ backing vocalist, Bernard Fowler, being the primary singer for the evening. Each singer brought a different feeling to proceedings. Living Colour’s Corey Glover worked the stage and the audience with his matching hair and suit combo for a lively performance throughout, often fist-bumping the audience members up front. A particular highlight of the evening had to be these two singers coming together to perform “Under Pressure.” The atmosphere in the crowd throughout this song was electric. A special mention must go to Gaby Moreno, whose exquisite voice captivated the crowd, and garnered some of the loudest cheers of the night.
It was a family affair with both Earl Slick and his son Lee John Madeloni both on stage together. Lee John was the effortless backbeat on the drums, while Earl let rip with some of the most memorable riffs from Bowie’s back catalog. Also accompanying on guitar was Stevie Salas, with Carmine Rojas on bass.
Everyone has their own favorite Bowie era and songs, and the setlist of the night made sure to cover as many of these as possible. Gaby’s rendition of “Space Oddity” seemed to kicked things up a notch, while “Fame” seemed to instigate the crowd’s dance moves. The night was rounded off with an encore of “Life On Mars” and “Heroes,” the perfect way to sign off the night of celebration.
With a musical legacy such as David Bowie’s, you don’t have to be a diehard fan to enjoy this alumni tour, there truly is something for everybody. They make sure to include the hits, as well as some of the less famous songs, spanning the length of his career. There’ll be plenty of songs that you’ll know and maybe some news ones that will have you delving into his back catalog for the first time. With the musicianship on stage, you can’t fail to get involved, sing along and maybe even bust a few moves.
The Alumni Tour continues on until March 22, so be sure to go check it out when it comes to your town.