Herald Sun - 27th February 2004

David Bowie adds spice to oddity

Review: Cameron Adams

FEW artists command as much respect, and reverence, in the music world as David Bowie.

He's avoided the cliches that have befallen most 50-something rock stars by cannily keeping up to date with musical trends, still releasing inspired new albums, and never merely relying on the past.

That makes this latest David Bowie tour - his first Australian visit since 1987 - both fascinating and frustrating.

Anyone after a wall-to-wall greatest hits bonanza from Bowie in 2004 is at the wrong show.

The set list for his first sold-out Rod Laver Arena show draws almost a third of its content from his two most recent albums, Heathen and Reality.

They are records that didn't sell amazingly well but are home to songs Bowie and his band clearly relish playing.

New tracks such as New Killer Star and the cover of the Pixies' Cactus were brilliant.

There's still a selection of genuine classic tunes from Bowie's amazing back catalogue: Rebel Rebel, Fame, China Girl, The Man Who Sold the World, All the Young Dudes, Life on Mars and Heroes among them, as well as surprise choices such as the Queen duet Under Pressure and his '90s hit Hallo Spaceboy, the latter given a chaotic reworking.

Bowie's final Melbourne show takes place tonight. Be early to catch a blinding set by Melbourne's Something For Kate.