Isolar II – The 1978 World Tour
|Isolar II - The 1978 World Tour|
David Bowie performs in Oslo, Norway, 5 June 1978.
|Tour by David Bowie|
|Associated album||Low & "Heroes"|
|Start date||29 March 1978|
|End date||12 December 1978|
|David Bowie concert chronology|
The Isolar II – The 1978 World Tour, more commonly known as The Low / Heroes World Tour or The Stage Tour, was a worldwide concert tour by David Bowie. The tour opened on 29 March 1978 at the San Diego Sports Arena continuing through North America, Europe and Australia before reaching a conclusion at the Nippon Budokan in Japan on 12 December 1978.
Tour development and song selection
Originally, Brian Eno planned to be a part of the tour band, but had to drop out due to health reasons. The band only had two weeks to rehearse for the tour. Carlos Alomar was the tour's band leader and drove the rehearsals.
The set list for the performances consisted of material from the previous year's albums, Low and "Heroes", with the second half of each performance opening with a five-song sequence from the The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album. Bowie had the band learn the entirety of the Ziggy album in rehearsals, although most of the songs were never performed live on the tour. The instrumental track "Art Decade" typically followed the Ziggy tracks, a mellow track to follow the energy of the Ziggy material. Tracks from the Station To Station album were the closing numbers. In the late 1980s, Bowie regarded some of the songs he performed live on the tour as a bit "ponderous", referring specifically to some of the long instrumental performances such as "Warszawa."
A short intermission split a typical night's show into two parts, and for the second Bowie wore a snakeskin drapecoat and "huge baggy white pants."
The stark fluorescent tube lighting approach of the previous 1976 tour, was further developed and expanded to create a large cage of tube lighting, which enclosed the stage with the ability to pulsate moodily during the slower instrumental pieces and flash frantically during the faster songs.
The Australian leg of the tour was Bowie's first concert performances in Australia and his first large-scale outdoor concerts. For the first two dates, keyboardist Dennis Garcia substituted for Roger Powell, who had a previous commitment with Utopia.
The performances at Civic Center - Providence, RI, New Boston Garden Arena and Philadelphia Spectrum were recorded for the live album Stage. Tour pianist Sean Mayes recalled that for the show that night, they slowed the tempo down (of most songs) for the recording, the only night such a change was made.
The Dallas Convention Center performance on 10 April 1978 was filmed with six songs ("What in the World," "Blackout," "Sense of Doubt," "Speed of Life," "Hang on to Yourself," and "Ziggy Stardust") broadcast on USA television entitled David Bowie on Stage. The Earl's Court - London performances were filmed by David Hemmings, with extracts broadcast on a British TV programme, The London Weekend Show. The film has yet to be released. The NHK Hall - Tokyo performance on 12 December 1978 being filmed and broadcast on Japanese TV's The Young Music Show.
The final night of the Earl's Court - London performance was recorded by the RCA mobile unit with the live performance premiere of the song, "Sound and Vision," later released on the 1995 compilation album, Rarestonebowie. The song was not performed live again until the 1990 Sound and Vision Tour.
The tour band remembered that "every show was taped" for Bowie's private use, and the tapes were carefully guarded by Carlos.
- David Bowie - vocals, chamberlain
- Adrian Belew - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Carlos Alomar - rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- George Murray - bass guitar, backing vocals
- Dennis Davis - drums, percussion
- Roger Powell - keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals (except 11–14 November 1978)
- Dennis Garcia - keyboards, synthesizer (11–14 November 1978 only)
- Sean Mayes - piano, string ensemble, backing vocals
- Simon House - electric violin
Band road crew
- Jan Michael Alejandro – Band Tech
- Vern "Moose" Constan – Band Tech
- Rob Joyce – Stage Manager
- Leroy Kerr – Band Tech
- Tony Macia – David's Driver
|29 March 1978||San Diego, California||United States||San Diego Sports Arena|
|30 March 1978||Phoenix, Arizona||Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum|
|2 April 1978||Fresno, California||Fresno Convention Center|
|3 April 1978||Los Angeles, California||The Forum|
|4 April 1978|
|5 April 1978||Oakland, California||Oakland Coliseum|
|6 April 1978||Los Angeles, California||The Forum|
|9 April 1978||Houston, Texas||The Summit|
|10 April 1978||Dallas, Texas||Dallas Convention Center|
|11 April 1978||Baton Rouge, Louisiana||Louisiana State University Assembly Center|
|13 April 1978||Nashville, Tennessee||Municipal Auditorium|
|14 April 1978||Memphis, Tennessee||Mid-South Coliseum|
|15 April 1978||Kansas City, Missouri||Municipal Auditorium|
|17 April 1978||Chicago, Illinois||Arie Crown Theatre|
|18 April 1978|
|20 April 1978||Detroit, Michigan||Cobo Arena|
|21 April 1978|
|22 April 1978||Cleveland, Ohio||Richfield Coliseum|
|24 April 1978||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Mecca Arena|
|26 April 1978||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Civic Arena|
|27 April 1978||Landover, Maryland||Capital Centre|
|28 April 1978||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Spectrum Arena|
|29 April 1978|
|1 May 1978||Toronto, Ontario||Canada||Maple Leaf Gardens|
|2 May 1978||Ottawa, Ontario||Ottawa Civic Centre|
|3 May 1978||Montreal, Quebec||Montreal Forum|
|5 May 1978||Providence, Rhode Island||United States||Civic Center|
|6 May 1978||Boston, Massachusetts||New Boston Garden Arena|
|7 May 1978||New York City||Madison Square Garden|
|8 May 1978|
|9 May 1978|
|14 May 1978||Frankfurt||Germany||Festhalle|
|15 May 1978||Hamburg||Congress-Centrum|
|16 May 1978||Düsseldorf||(Cancelled) Philipshalle|
|18 May 1978||Essen||Grugahalle|
|19 May 1978||Cologne||Kölner Sporthalle|
|20 May 1978||Munich||Olympiahalle|
|22 May 1978||Vienna||Austria||Stadthalle|
|24 May 1978||Paris||France||Pavillon de Paris|
|25 May 1978|
|26 May 1978||Lyon||Palais des Sports de Gerland|
|27 May 1978||Marseilles||(Cancelled) Parc Chaneau|
|Palais des Sports|
|31 May 1978||Copenhagen||Denmark||Folketeatret|
|1 June 1978|
|2 June 1978||Stockholm||Sweden||(Cancelled) Skansen|
|4 June 1978||Gothenburg||Scandinavium|
|5 June 1978||Oslo||Norway||Ekersberghallen|
|7 June 1978||Rotterdam||Netherlands||Sportpaleis Ahoy|
|8 June 1978|
|9 June 1978|
|11 June 1978||Brussels||Belgium||Vorst Nationaal|
|12 June 1978|
|14 June 1978||Newcastle upon Tyne||England||Newcastle City Hall|
|15 June 1978|
|16 June 1978|
|19 June 1978||Glasgow||Scotland||The Apollo|
|20 June 1978|
|21 June 1978|
|22 June 1978|
|24 June 1978||Stafford||England||New Bingley Hall County Showground|
|25 June 1978|
|26 June 1978|
|29 June 1978||London||Earl's Court|
|30 June 1978|
|1 July 1978|
|11 November 1978||Adelaide||Australia||Adelaide Oval|
|14 November 1978||Perth||Perth Entertainment Centre|
|15 November 1978|
|18 November 1978||Melbourne||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|21 November 1978||Brisbane||Lang Park|
|24 November 1978||Sydney||RAS Showgrounds|
|25 November 1978|
|29 November 1978||Christchurch||New Zealand||Queen Elizabeth II Park|
|2 December 1978||Auckland||Western Springs Stadium|
|6 December 1978||Osaka||Japan||Koseinenkin Kaikan|
|7 December 1978|
|9 December 1978||Banpaku Kaikan|
|11 December 1978||Tokyo||Budokan Arena|
|12 December 1978||NHK Hall|
- "Five Years"
- "Soul Love"
- "Hang on to Yourself"
- "Ziggy Stardust"
- "Suffragette City"
- "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide"
From Aladdin Sane
- "The Jean Genie"
From Diamond Dogs
- "Rebel Rebel"
From Young Americans
From Station to Station
- "Station to Station"
- "TVC 15"
- "Speed of Life"
- "Breaking Glass" (Bowie, Dennis Davis, George Murray)
- "What in the World"
- "Sound and Vision"
- "Be My Wife"
- "Warszawa" (Bowie, Brian Eno)
- "Art Decade"
- "Beauty and the Beast"
- ""Heroes"" (Bowie, Eno)
- "Sense of Doubt"
- "Alabama Song" (non-album single, originally from Bertold Brecht's opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, written by Brecht and Kurt Weill)
- Sean Mayes, Life on Tour with David Bowie: We Can Be Heroes, Independent Music Press, 2003, ISBN 978-1-897783-17-7
- Nicholas Pegg, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2004, ISBN 1-903111-73-0
- David Currie, ed. (1985), David Bowie: The Starzone Interviews, England: Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-0685-8
- Isler, Scott (August 1987), "David Bowie Opens Up - A Little", Musician magazine: 60–73
- Pimm Jal de la Parra, David Bowie: The Concert Tapes, P.J. Publishing, 1985, ISBN 90-900100-5-X
- Kevin Cann, David Bowie: A Chronology, Vermilion, 1983, ISBN 0-09-153831-9
- David Buckley, Strange Fascination: The Definitive Biography of David Bowie, Virgin Books, 1999, ISBN 1-85227-784-X