Thursday, September 06, 2007

David Bowie

An incredible 30+ years ago, of course I was extremely young, I went to my first stadium concert. I am proud to say that even in my youth I had a wonderful taste in music (there were some exceptions!) and I witnessed a show from the greatest star himself, David Bowie. May 1976 and the Station to Station tour was in full flow and Bowie had 6 sell-out shows in Wembley. My sister managed to get tickets for Friday night and being the weekend, I was allowed to travel up. The reviews of Bowie's first concert on the Tuesday said that he was the best thing since the Beatles and the show had gone on to midnight instead of the scheduled 10.30. We were in the middle of a heatwave and London was sweltering hot. I had travelled up with school friends and we spent the afternoon walking around, drained by the heat but mobilised with excitement for the concert. Wembley seemed like miles away and when we arrived at 7pm, the crowds were overwhelming. I couldn't believe what great seats we had. The place was so huge and there were so many people, yet we had seats just to the left of the stage on the first tier. (One person caused quite a stir when going to their seat - spikey hair,lightning bolt on the face. I realised almost a year later this was Jordan, the infamous hanger-on with the Sex Pistols.) To quote my youthful diary entry "Nearly wet myself I was so excited. Sweated buckets in the heat. Music was really loud and really tremendous". !
Bowie came on to the stage dressed in black and white, on a stark stage with bright white lights to the sounds of Station to Station. He followed this with Suffragette City and the place went crazy. He looked incredibly thin and boney and his voice was perfect. The crowd were putty in the hands of this vulnerable looking creature. I was sold on music and concerts from that night on. He ended the set with Jean Genie. It all seemed terribly quick and everyone wanted more. All we got was a struggle with the immense crowd getting on the tube out of Wembley and this took ages.
7 years later and living in London myself, I had tried to get tickets to the Serious Moonlight tour in London, but was allocated tickets in Milton Keynes Bowl instead. Better that no tickets at all, so off we went to Milton Keynes on the 2nd of July. Once more, this was a glorious day and we went armed with a picnick hamper, not sure what to expect. This was an outdoor show with huge screens to the sides of the stage. We found a spot in the field which was an awful long way from the stage. Bowie appeared and he was a dark figure in the distance. The concert had to be followed by watching the video screen which was a huge disappointment. We nevertheless enjoyed the songs, the atmosphere and the day out, but this was going to be the first and last outdoor mega-concert that I wanted to go to.

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