David Bowie live 1964-2004
The Glass Spider Tour was launched in support of the Never Let Me Down album. The tour began in May 1987 and was preceded by a 2-week press tour that saw Bowie visit 9 countries throughout Europe and North America to drum up public interest in the tour.
The Glass Spider Tour was the first Bowie tour to visit Austria, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Wales. Through a sponsorship from Pepsi, the tour was intended to visit Russia and South America as well, but these plans were later cancelled. The tour was, at that point, the longest and most expensive tour Bowie had embarked upon in his career. At the time, the tour's elaborate set was called "the largest touring set ever".
Bowie conceived the tour as a theatrical show, and included spoken-word introductions to some songs, vignettes, and employed visuals including projected videos, theatrical lighting and stage props. On stage, Bowie was joined by guitarist Peter Frampton and a troupe of five dancers (choreographed by long-time Bowie collaborator Toni Basil).
With the theme "Rock stars vs Reality," the show was divided into two acts and an encore. The set list was modified over the course of the tour as Bowie dropped some of his newer material in favour of older songs from his
The tour was generally poorly received at the time for being overblown and pretentious. Despite the criticism, Bowie in 1991 remarked that this tour laid the groundwork for later successful theatrical tours by other artists, and the sets design and the shows integration of music and theatrics has inspired later acts by a variety of artists. Starting in the late 2000s, the tour began to collect accolades for its successes, and in 2010 the tour was named one of the top concert tour designs of all time.
The tour was financially successful and well-attended (being seen by perhaps as many as six million fans worldwide), but the poor critical reception of the album and tour led Bowie to not only abandon plans for other elaborate stage shows, but to reconsider his own motivations for making music - and in that sense the tour developed more and more rock orientated and became important for the later Tin Machine project 1989-92.
David Bowie – vocals, guitar
Peter Frampton – guitar, vocals
Carlos Alomar – guitar
Carmine Rojas – bass guitar
Alan Childs – drums
Erdal Kizilcay – keyboards, trumpet, congas, violin
Richard Cottle – keyboards, saxophone
Spazz Attack (Craig Allen Rothwell)
Toni Basil (choreography)
Bowie elected to play less well-known songs on the tour and avoided some of his bigger hits. He was eager to not repeat the formula that made the Serious Moonlight Tour a success, saying, "It seemed so easy. It was cheers from the word go. You know how to get a reaction – play Changes, Golden Years and they'd be up on their feet. You get the reaction, take the money and run away. It seemed too easy. I didn't want to do that again."
All but two songs (Too Dizzy and Shining Star (Makin' My Love)) from his album Never Let Me Down were played live during the tour. Songs performed during the tour were "chosen because they fit the performance" and fit Bowie's goal to make a show that was much more theatrical and had strong dramatic content. When he was asked how he was going to make his rock show "dramatic", he replied, "You'll be surprised what you can do with a 6-piece rock band and a stage and a couple of lights."
Several songs that Bowie had anticipated playing on the tour were ultimately dropped before rehearsals even started, including Space Oddity, Ricochet, Joe the Lion and Don't Look Down. Some songs that the band rehearsed were never played on the to
From The Man Who Sold the World
"All the Madmen"
From Aladdin Sane
"The Jean Genie"
From Diamond Dogs
From Young Americans
"Fame" (Bowie, John Lennon, Carlos Alomar)
"'Heroes'" (Bowie, Brian Eno)
"Sons of the Silent Age"
From Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
"Up the Hill Backwards"
"Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)"
"Because You're Young"
"Scream Like a Baby"
From Let's Dance
"China Girl" (originally from The Idiot by Iggy Pop, written by Pop and Bowie)
"Loving the Alien"
"Dancing With the Big Boys" (Bowie, Pop, Carlos Alomar)
From Never Let Me Down
"Time Will Crawl"
"Beat of Your Drum"
"Never Let Me Down" (Bowie, Alomar)
"New York's in Love"
"'87 and Cry"
"Bang Bang" (Pop, Ivan Kral)
"Absolute Beginners" from Absolute Beginners: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, written by Bowie)
"I Wanna Be Your Dog" (from The Stooges by The Stooges, written by Pop, Dave Alexander, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton)
"Lavender's Blue" (traditional)
"London Bridge Is Falling Down" (traditional)
"War" (by Edwin Starr, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong)
"White Light/White Heat" (from White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground, written by Lou Reed)
PRESS SHOW TOUR
17 March 1987 - Toronto, Diamond Club
18 March 1987 - New York City, Cat Club
20 March 1987 - London, Player's Theatre
21 March 1987 - Paris, La Locomotive
24 March 1987 - Madrid, Halquera Plateaux
25 March 1987 - Rome, Piper
26 March 1987 - Munich, Parkcafe Lowenbrau
28 March 1987 - Stockholm, Ritz
30 March 1987 - Amsterdam, Paradiso
30 May 1987 - Rotterdam, Stadion Feijenoord
31 May 1987 - Rotterdam, Stadion Feijenoord
2 June 1987 - Werchter, Rock Werchter
6 June 1987 - Berlin, Platz der Republik
7 June 1987 - Nürburgring, Rock am Ring
9 June 1987 - Florence, Stadio Comunale
10 June 1987 - Milan, Stadio San Siro
13 June 1987 - Hamburg, Festwiese Am Stadtpark
15 June 1987 - Rome, Stadio Flaminio
16 June 1987 - Rome, Stadio Flaminio
19 June 1987 - London, Wembley Stadium
20 June 1987 - London, Wembley Stadium
21 June 1987 - Cardiff, Cardiff Arms Park
23 June 1987 - Sunderland, Roker Park
27 June 1987 - Gothenburg, Hisingen Eriksbergsvarvet
28 June 1987 - Lyon, Stade de Gerland
1 July 1987 - Vienna, Praterstadion
3 July 1987 - Paris, Parc départemental de La Courneuve
4 July 1987 - Toulouse, Stadium Municipal de Toulouse
6 July 1987 - Madrid, Vicente Calderón Stadium
7 July 1987 - Barcelona, Barcelona Mini Stadium
8 July 1987 - Barcelona, Barcelona Mini Stadium
11 July 1987 - Dublin, Slane Castle
14 July 1987 - Manchester, Maine Road Football Ground
15 July 1987 - Manchester, Maine Road Football Ground
17 July 1987 - Nice, Stade De L'Ouest
18 July 1987 - Turin, Stadio Comunale di Torino
NORTH AMERICA TOUR
30 July 1987 - Philadelphia, Veterans Stadium
31 July 1987 - Philadelphia, Veterans Stadium
2 August 1987 - East Rutherford, Giants Stadium
3 August 1987 - East Rutherford, Giants Stadium
7 August 1987 - San Jose, Spartan Stadium
8 August 1987 - Anaheim, Anaheim Stadium
9 August 1987 - Anaheim, Anaheim Stadium
12 August 1987 - Denver, Mile High Stadium
14 August 1987 - Portland, Civic Stadium
15 August 1987 - Vancouver, BC Place Stadium
17 August 1987 - Edmonton, Commonwealth Stadium
19 August 1987 - Winnipeg, Winnipeg Stadium
21 August 1987 - Rosemont, Rosemont Horizon
22 August 1987 - Rosemont, Rosemont Horizon
24 August 1987 - Toronto, National Exhibition Stadium
25 August 1987 - Toronto, National Exhibition Stadium
28 August 1987 - Ottawa, Frank Clair Stadium
30 August 1987 - Montreal, Olympic Stadium
1 September 1987 - New York, Madison Square Garden
2 September 1987 - New York, Madison Square Garden
3 September 1987 - Foxborough, Sullivan Stadium
6 September 1987 - Chapel Hill, Dean Smith Center
7 September 1987 - Chapel Hill, Dean Smith Center
10 September 1987 - Milwaukee, Marcus Amphitheater
11 September 1987 - Milwaukee, Marcus Amphitheater
12 September 1987 - Pontiac, Pontiac Silverdome
14 September 1987 - Lexington, Rupp Arena
18 September 1987 - Miami, Miami Orange Bowl
19 September 1987 - Tampa, Tampa Stadium
21 September 1987 - Atlanta, Omni Coliseum
22 September 1987 - Atlanta, Omni Coliseum
25 September 1987 - Hartford, Hartford Civic Center
28 September 1987 - Landover, Capital Centre
29 September 1987 - Landover, Capital Centre
1 October 1987 - St. Paul, St. Paul Civic Center
2 October 1987 - St. Paul, St. Paul Civic Center
4 October 1987 - Kansas City, Kemper Arena
6 October 1987 - New Orleans, Louisiana Superdome
7 October 1987 - Houston, The Summit
8 October 1987 - Houston, The Summit
10 October 1987 - Dallas, Reunion Arena
11 October 1987 - Dallas, Reunion Arena
13 October 1987 - Los Angeles, Memorial Sports Arena
14 October 1987 - Los Angeles, Memorial Sports Arena
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND TOUR
27 October 1987 - Sydney, Tivoli Club (Press Show)
29 October 1987 - Brisbane, Boondall Entertainment Centre
30 October 1987 - Brisbane, Boondall Entertainment Centre
3 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
4 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
6 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
7 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
9 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
10 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
13 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
14 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
18 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium
20 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium
21 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium
23 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium
28 November 1987 - Auckland, Western Springs Stadium
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