Reality Tour Comes to Toronto, 2004
This video is very similar to yesterday’s with a few exceptions. I might have skipped it except I was actually at this concert, which turned out to be the final Bowie concert I would ever attend. The video itself and Bowie’s performance are both a little smoother than yesterday’s. The song selection is very similar to yesterday’s but there are a few differences, and Bowie didn’t make any mistakes this time. In a strange way, the breakdown of “Quicksand” during the Philadelphia concert I posted yesterday— Bowie forgot the words and stopped singing mid-song, made that concert oddly more special. That said, there’s nothing wrong with flawless performances, either.
This video starts with a promotional commercial for the concert before transitioning in to the concert itself. I don’t remember seeing this particular commercial but I do remember commercials for big concerts, including one from 1983 while Bowie was promoting the Serious Moonlight tour (the commercial instructed us to put on our red shoes and dance the blues). I didn’t go to that concert, but my mother and sister went.
In 1983, the commercial helped Bowie fill a stadium, but by 2004 he needed a commercial to fill an arena. He tells a story about how excited he was the first time he heard “The Man Who Sold the World” on the radio, just before performing the song. He quips that he’d be just as excited today to hear one of his songs on the radio. I think, by 2004, Bowie had regained his good name as an artist and was no longer un-cool, but he hadn’t yet achieved the cultural phenomena status that began to emerge nearly a decade later with The Next Day and really took hold after his death.
Nonetheless, this is a good concert. It makes me sad to think about how I expected there to be many more.