A Reality Tour [DVD] review by David Bowie

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  • Released: Oct 19, 2004
  • Sound: 9
  • Content: 7
  • Production Quality: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (5 votes)
David Bowie: A Reality Tour [DVD]

Sound — 9
A great performance all round. The band seems never-faulting, and Bowie? To say that he was in his 50's when he did this, he's giving it his all - he sounds simply amazing. He hides the points where he knows his vocals won't do by getting the audience to sing along (such as in All The Young Dudes, where his voice strains). Gail-Ann Dorsey - his touring bassist - does some vocals on here too. Most notably on Fame and Under Pressure - where she takes all of Freddie Mercury's vocals quite successfully. Does anybody else think Sister Midnight (a song he did with Iggy Pop - it also features on this DVD) sounds like Red Money (from 'Lodger')? Might just be me.

Content — 7
This live concert is great, but there's little that the DVD offers in terms of extras. On the CD release, there's three extra tracks. It would have been nice to see these as added features. The mix of material however is brilliant. It's nice to see someone not just performing his best hits/new songs. He's thought it all out with his band, which is great to see.

Production Quality — 7
The DVD uses no real effects on it; black and white/sepia/negative... It doesn't need it. The way it's filmed, along with the lighting and sound etc. makes for a pretty dazzling performance anyway. The DVD looks and feels fairly up-to-date. Not easy to accomplish when you consider that Bowie's been around the music scene since the 60's.

Overall Impression — 9
I personally love this. I never really followed Bowie's 90's/00's stuff, but I actually found myself sitting quite happily through his material from "Outside"(1995), "Earthling"(1997) and "Reality"(2003). Obviously, a lot of people wouldn't be as tollerant, finding themselves skipping through them to find the 'Ziggy' era stuff - but that's fine. I'd just recomend giving the rest of it a chance first. Sure, songs like Reality are a bit drab, but New Killer Star for example is a classic! The diversity of his material on here has to be achnowledged too... I mean, he plays pretty much anything of his that you could ask for, with all these oddities thrown in. You got Life On Mars? and Ashes To Ashes with Fantastic Voyage and I'm Afraid of Americans. He also pulls off the over-produced stuff like Fame with relative ease, which is impressive, whilst throwing in All The Young Dudes (Mott The Hoople/Bowie) and Under Pressure (Queen/Bowie). I just consider it a shame that Modern Love, Blue Jean, Boys Keep Swinging and Starman aren't on here, to name a few. He could have stuck them in in place of things like Hallo Spaceboy, maybe? Saying that, he has got a pretty big selection of material.

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    I have the CD and DVD and they are excellent. A real treat for Bowie fans. Bowie puts every ounce of energy in this performance. What makes this artist unique is he is not just another performer that goes through the motions of entertaining. He truly feels his music and his fans, his audience relate to and share in his enthusiasm.