Poughkeepsie Journal - August 20th 2003

Rocker Bowie lights up stage

By John W. Barry

The crowd of roughly 600 crept into The Chance like lava after waiting patiently outside, some for nearly two hours.

Once inside, they remained calm and subdued, unlike a typical Chance crowd, until a single stage light flickered off, then back on. Everyone stirred.

But it was the closing of a red curtain - large enough to cover a small truck and draped behind the stage - that lit everyone like a fuse.

And they exploded when David Bowie sauntered onto the stage just after 8 p.m., in gray denim jacket and pants, black leather biker boots, black T-shirt and brown leather belt.

"You look good," a talkative Bowie told the crowd. "I know all of you."

Neither the crowd nor Bowie let up Tuesday night at the small Poughkeepsie nightclub during his exclusive concert for members of his Internet fan club, Bowienet. Those in the crowd who didn't wave their arms or grope his leg when he wandered to the edge of the stage were screaming like Beatles fans at Shea Stadium.

"I think he's brilliant," said Richard Roberts, a native of Hackney, England, who is visiting New York for the summer and bought his $45 ticket for $150 on eBay. "He could do anything and it would be fantastic."

Garnering the largest cheer during the band introduction was bass player and Kingston resident Gail Ann Dorsey, who wore a torn fringe skirt and black combat boots with orange laces.

Bowie played a 12-song set followed by a six-song encore that all together lasted about 90 minutes. The night belonged to many new songs that Bowie played from his soon-to-be-released CD, "Reality." These fresh tunes rocked hard on solid legs.

But the classics stole the show. The crowd erupted when Bowie, on darkened stage except for white spotlight on his face, belted out "Wham, bam, thank you Ma'am" during "Suffragette City."

"I can't imagine I would ever see him in a place this small," said Jim Livecchi, who flew from Columbus, Ohio, just for the concert. "He's just a cool guy."

Music writer John W. Barry will discuss the show between 8:30 and 9 a.m. today on WDST (100.1 FM) radio.