Vancouver Province - 25th January 2004

He's found a look: David Bowie

Fighting-fit Chameleon dishes up career-spanning performance

By Stuart Derdeyn

There's a bunny with an extra spring in her hop today. She's not alone. Everyone lucky enough to get a dose of Reality last night should be smiling.

But not everybody got a song dedicated to them like Isabelle did. After pointing out to the front row fan in the white rabbit suit that the Flaming Lips were in town next week - an in-joke for today's rock crowd, but the guy has always been about staying current - Bowie serenaded her with a "song I wrote about a bunny, really."

It was one of the many highlights in a career-spanning performance that drew upon every aspect of what makes the man a legend, both in terms of songs and style.

Who else puts Fashion File onscreen between acts?

An arty set with five jumbotrons and a huge back projection, white painted trees hanging upside down and a simulated wood and rock set were juxtaposed by Bowie's basic black jeans, T-shirt and coverse low-cut sneakers attire. After nearly 40 years of changing his look as often as his sound, it appears Bowie has finally found one that suits: David Bowie.

Fighting fit, the 57 year old superstar roared onstage to "Rebel Rebel" and touched everything from his Young Americans soul era ("Fame") to the quirky gem "Under Pressure" and newer winners such as his Heathen cover of Pixies' "Cactus." Backed by probably the finest touring band he's been out with since the late Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar for him, Bowie could hardly contain his enthusiasm during the crowd singalong to "All The Young Dudes." The love-in feel of the show was only rarely dulled by some of the less engaging material from his latest CD, such as the plodding "She'll Drive The Big Car."

After being reminded of just how dirty the riff in "Panic In Detroit" really is, I can only hope Bowie sticks to it too...