Todd Rundgren changed costumes countless times throughout the night at the Celebrating David Bowie concert held at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway on October 27 and, wearing a silver astronaut costume , danced like a man lost in space during “Space Oddity.
Adrian Belew – former bandmate and musical director of Bowie – didn’t change costumes at all, but added wild guitar solos to songs like “Fashion”, “Stay” and “Station to Station”, creating sounds that few other guitarists could even imagine.
Royston Langdon of the band Spacehog echoed Bowie’s sense of theatrical melodrama in songs such as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” and “The Man Who Sold the World”. And Jeffrey Gaines – who I’m used to seeing solo, with an acoustic guitar – proved he could be a fierce rock ‘n’ roll leader on songs like ‘Suffragette City’, ‘Rebel Rebel ” and “Moonage Daydream”.
David Bowie has made music in countless different styles in his more than 50 years as a rock star. And this show, with 30 songs released over a span of 44 years — from 1969’s “Space Oddity” to 2013’s “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” — has pretty much covered them all.
The first Celebrating David Bowie shows were in 2017, and there were more in 2018. But the all-star tour has come to New Jersey for the first time at Rahway, and there will be another show. from Garden State on October 29 at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.
Angelo “Scrote” Bundini led the band, in addition to playing guitar and occasionally singing. He, saxophonist-keyboardist-guitarist Ron Dziubla (who performed an extended saxophone solo as the intro to “Space Oddity”), bassist Angeline Saris and drummer Travis McNabb backed everyone up, along with Rundgren, Belew, Gaines and Langdon sometimes coming off stage for a few numbers, or sometimes staying to add guitar, keyboards, or backing vocals when someone else sang the lead.
As you can see from the setlist below, the two-hour, 20-minute show covered most of Bowie’s best-known songs as well as some slightly more obscure material. Belew and Rundgren, for example, sang “Pretty Pink Rose” – the 1990 Belew/Bowie duet – together, with Rundgren handling the Bowie parts. And Gaines provided one of the show’s few low-key moments with the bad mood. Young Americans ballad, “Winning”.
While the show, understandably, focused on Bowie’s output from the late ’60s to early ’90s, his later years were covered in a three-song segment with “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” Hallo Spaceboy” and “I’m afraid of Americans.
Talking about Bowie between songs was nearly impossible. It was a bit surprising, because from previous concerts and interviews, I know that these musicians have a lot to say. The longest speech of the evening, in fact, came from Rundgren (after the closing group version of “Heroes”, with Belew perfectly reproducing Robert Fripp’s magnificent lead guitar part) and had nothing to do with with the music. “Dont forget to vote !” he said, in part. “This is not an off-year election. It’s very sure.
by Rundgren Spirit of Harmony Foundationwhich supports music education, is one of the tour partners.
Here’s the show’s setlist, with the lead singers in parentheses. Below is video from the show of Rundgren singing the Bowie-penned Mott the Hoople hit, “Young Americans.”
“Sound and Vision” (Adrian Belew)
“Young Americans” (Todd Rundgren)
“Moonage Daydream” (Jeffrey Gaines)
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” (Royston Langdon)
“The Man Who Sold the World” (Langdon)
“Five Years” (Gaines)
Ziggy Stardust (Langdon)
“Life on Mars?” (Rundgren)
“Ashes to Ashes” (Langdon)
“The Golden Years” (Langdon)
“The Boys Keep Swinging” (Belew)
“From station to station” (Scrote, Rundgren)
“Space Curiosity” (Rundgren)
“The Stars (Come Out Tonight)” (Scrote)
“Hello Spaceboy” (Scrote)
“I’m Afraid of Americans” (Langdon)
“Jean Bleu” (girdles)
“Pretty Pink Rose” (Belew, Rundgren)
“Let’s Dance” (Langdon)
“Rebel Rebel” (Gaines)
“All the Young Guys” (Rundgren)
“City of the Suffragettes” (Gaines)
“Heroes” (Rundgren, Belew, Langdon, Scrote)
For more information on tours, visit celebratedavidbowie.com.
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