A Reality Tour
|Tour by David Bowie|
|Start date||7 October 2003|
|End date||25 June 2004|
|No. of shows||70 in Europe |
29 in North America
8 in Oceania
5 in Asia
112 in Total
|David Bowie concert chronology|
A Reality Tour was a worldwide concert tour by David Bowie in support of the Reality album. The tour commenced on 7 October 2003 at the Forum Copenhagen, Denmark, continuing through Europe, North America, Asia, including a return to New Zealand and Australia for the first time since the 1987 Glass Spider Tour. Bowie retired from performing live in 2006, making this tour his last.
The tour grossed US$46 million, making it the ninth-highest-grossing tour of 2004.
Bowie announced the tour in June 2003, intending to play to over a million people across 17 countries, and was billed as his first major tour since the Outside Tour of 1995. Bowie promoted this tour with appearances on primetime television shows such as The Tonight Show and on AOL Sessions. At over 110 shows, the tour was the longest tour of Bowie's career.
Bowie sought to perform in the format of a stadium concert with less focus on elaborate staging and more focus on the musicians in his band. The stage featured a number of platforms, some extending into the audience, as well as multiple video-screens projecting artistic images and live footage of the concert along with many colored lights for effects. The stage was typically placed at one end of the stadium or arena with seating in the stands or on the field itself with a back-stage area on the far side of the stage.
The musicians were dressed in casual but colorful outfits; each musician had a set of outfits in different colors, such as Bowie's cut-off shirt and neckerchief or Gail Ann Dorsey's dress. Musicians were free to move about the stage as their instruments permitted with wireless amplification, though Bowie and Dorsey interacted most often as part of the acts.
Each concert began with an introduction on the main video-screen, during which the band would enter the stage and prepare the opening number. After the opener, Bowie would greet the audience with the flexible line, "Hello, [city name], you crazy bunch motherfuckers" as a sign of welcoming. The performances, between the somewhat staged pieces, were informal often with a dialog between Bowie and his audience, jokes, band introductions, and the occasional "Happy Birthday To You".
The set list included tracks spanning Bowie's 30 plus years in the music business, from The Man Who Sold the World (1970) all the way to Reality (2003), along with collaborations such as "Sister Midnight" (originally from The Idiot (1977) by Iggy Pop) and "Under Pressure" (released as a single (1981) by Bowie and Queen later found on Hot Space released the following year), and snippets and teasers of Bowie classics such as "Space Oddity" and "Golden Years". There is a bit more focus, however, on tracks from the albums released since the Earthling World Tour in 1997: Heathen (2002), and Reality. The only exception from his latest albums is Hours (1999). Other albums with no appearance included David Bowie (1969), the cover album Pin Ups (1973), Never Let Me Down (1987), the albums produced with the band Tin Machine (Tin Machine (1989) and Tin Machine II (1991)) and Black Tie White Noise (1993).
A notable inclusion on the tour were the tracks from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), usually performed as the final encores. "Ziggy Stardust" was nearly always the finale of each concert.
The inclusion of tracks from Let's Dance (1983) and Tonight (1984) was also notable, considering a fan tendency to reject the albums as "too commercial", seeing the return of the singles "Modern Love", "Blue Jean", "Let's Dance", "China Girl" (originally from The Idiot (1977) by Pop), and a semi-acoustic version of "Loving the Alien".
Overall, the band had rehearsed around 60 songs for the tour.
The 24 January 2004 show in Vancouver BC was reviewed positively, with the reviewer saying that "with Bowie's near-flawless vocals, brilliant band, and smartly executed show, you wind up with one of the finest old-school rock gigs the Canucks’ home rink has ever hosted." The review of the next show in Seattle on 25 January 2004 was similarly positive, saying Bowie, "still every inch a superstar ... still oozes charm and sex appeal" and called the setlist a "celebration of his whole body of work."
Originally scheduled to play in 24 countries over a ten-month period, the tour was curtailed after the Hurricane Festival performance in Scheeßel, Germany on 25 June 2004, as a result of Bowie being diagnosed with an acutely blocked artery that required an angioplasty procedure. In 2016, bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, who was on stage with Bowie, recalled what happened at the end of the tour:
[At the second-to-last show, in Prague] I remember we were playing the song "Reality." He was supposed to be singing at the very end of the song, and he wasn't. I was kind of watching him from behind. Everyone was soaking wet because it was really hot in there, but his shirt was just drenched. He was just soaking wet and holding the microphone out with his left hand straight out. And he was just standing there, posturing, but not singing. And I was thinking, "Why is he not singing the last bit?"
Then he looked over his shoulder at me and he was just white, pale, translucent almost. His eyes were wide and he was kind of gasping for air a little bit, having trouble catching his breath. And then I remember looking down at the audience, and I could see their expressions in the front row, looking up at him, had changed. They went from joy and dancing to looking kind of concerned. At that point, his bodyguard and helper guy saw the same thing. He ran onto the stage and took him off. ... We went back on and played a few more songs. He asked for a stool and he sat down. He just hated to cancel shows. There were some nights he was so sick he had a bucket on the side of the stage where he'd go between songs to puke, but he never wanted to cancel anything. And we didn't know he was having a heart attack until four or five days later.
[At the last show, at the Hurricane Festival in Hamburg, Germany] I remember walking down the stairs behind him after we finished. When he got to the bottom, he actually collapsed. He was so tired and so sick. They rushed him to the hospital and we sat and waited in Hamburg for a few days, and that was the end. The last show.
- David Bowie – vocals, guitars, stylophone, harmonica
- Earl Slick – guitar
- Gerry Leonard – guitar, backing vocals, music director
- Gail Ann Dorsey – bass guitar, vocals
- Sterling Campbell – drums
- Mike Garson – keyboards, piano
- Catherine Russell – keyboards, percussion, guitar, backing vocals
|Date||City||Country||Venue||Tickets sold / available||Revenue||Opening act|
|7 October 2003||Copenhagen||Denmark||Forum Copenhagen||N/A||N/A||–|
|8 October 2003||Stockholm||Sweden||Globen Arena||N/A||N/A|
|10 October 2003||Helsinki||Finland||Hartwall Areena||N/A||N/A|
|12 October 2003||Oslo||Norway||Oslo Spektrum||N/A||N/A|
|15 October 2003||Rotterdam||Netherlands||Rotterdam Ahoy||N/A||N/A|
|16 October 2003||Hamburg||Germany||Color Line Arena||N/A||N/A|
|18 October 2003||Frankfurt||Festhalle Frankfurt||N/A||N/A|
|20 October 2003||Paris||France||POPB||N/A||N/A|
|21 October 2003||N/A||N/A|
|23 October 2003||Milan||Italy||Forum di Assago||N/A||N/A|
|24 October 2003||Zürich||Switzerland||Hallenstadion||N/A||N/A|
|26 October 2003||Stuttgart||Germany||Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle||N/A||N/A|
|27 October 2003||Munich||Olympiahalle||N/A||N/A|
|29 October 2003||Vienna||Austria||Wiener Stadthalle||N/A||N/A|
|31 October 2003||Cologne||Germany||Kölnarena||N/A||N/A|
|1 November 2003||Hanover||Preussag Arena||10,587 / 10,587||$499,926|
|3 November 2003||Berlin||Max-Schmeling-Halle||10,693 / 10,693||$512,787|
|5 November 2003||Antwerp||Belgium||Sportpaleis||16,113 / 16,113||$690,217|
|7 November 2003||Lille||France||Zénith de Lille||6,986 / 6,986||$349,420|
|8 November 2003||Amnéville||Galaxie Amnéville||10,960 / 11,200||$462,161|
|10 November 2003||Nice||Palais Nikaia||7,620 / 8,000||$426,823|
|14 November 2003||Marseille||Le Dôme de Marseille||8,004 / 8,004||$440,087|
|15 November 2003||Lyon||Halle Tony Garnier||17,000 / 17,000||$753,371|
|17 November 2003||Manchester||England||Manchester Arena||14,827 / 14,827||$1,094,747|
|19 November 2003||Birmingham||NEC LG Arena||23,604 / 23,604||$1,759,705|
|20 November 2003|
|22 November 2003||Dublin||Republic of Ireland||Point Theatre||17,000 / 17,000||$1,142,076|
|23 November 2003|
|25 November 2003||London||England||Wembley Arena||23,048 / 23,048||$1,717,549|
|26 November 2003|
|28 November 2003||Glasgow||Scotland||Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre||10,103 / 10,103||$768,886||The Dandy Warhols|
|13 December 2003||Montreal||Canada||Bell Centre||11,315 / 11,315||$613,650||Macy Gray|
|15 December 2003||New York City||United States||Madison Square Garden||13,752 / 13,752||$1,108,711||–|
|16 December 2003||Uncasville||Mohegan Sun Arena||6,698 / 6,698||$313,460|
|20 December 2003||Nassau||Bahamas||The Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel||N/A||N/A|
|7 January 2004||Cleveland||United States||CSU Convocation Center||7,692 / 7,938||$336,940||Macy Gray|
|9 January 2004||Auburn Hills||The Palace of Auburn Hills||8,509 / 8,909||$427,522|
|11 January 2004||Minneapolis||Target Center||5,492 / 7,505||$275,436|
|13 January 2004||Rosemont||Rosemont Theatre||12,867 / 12,867||$959,883|
|14 January 2004|
|16 January 2004|
|19 January 2004||Denver||Fillmore Auditorium||3,600 / 3,600||$237,600|
|21 January 2004||Calgary||Canada||Pengrowth Saddledome||11,474 / 11,474||$634,074|
|24 January 2004||Vancouver||GM Place||11,617 / 11,617||$612,323|
|25 January 2004||Seattle||United States||Paramount Theatre||2,804 / 2,835||$199,722|
|27 January 2004||San Jose||HP Pavilion||9,856 / 10,317||$578,128|
|30 January 2004||Las Vegas||The Joint||1,522 / 1,522||$343,313|
|31 January 2004||Los Angeles||Shrine Auditorium||12,348 / 12,348||$803,544|
|2 February 2004|
|3 February 2004||Wiltern Theatre||2,290 / 2,290||$187,174|
|5 February 2004||Phoenix||Dodge Theater||4,873 / 4,873||$237,842|
|6 February 2004||Las Vegas||The Joint||1,522 / 1,522||$343,313|
|7 February 2004||Los Angeles||Wiltern Theatre||2,290 / 2,290||$187,174|
|14 February 2004||Wellington||New Zealand||Westpac Stadium||N/A||N/A||–|
|17 February 2004||Brisbane||Australia||Brisbane Entertainment Centre||N/A||N/A|
|20 February 2004||Sydney||Sydney Entertainment Centre||N/A||N/A|
|21 February 2004||N/A||N/A|
|23 February 2004||Adelaide||Adelaide Entertainment Centre||N/A||N/A|
|26 February 2004||Melbourne||Rod Laver Arena||N/A||N/A|
|27 February 2004||N/A||N/A|
|1 March 2004||Perth||Supreme Court Gardens||N/A||N/A|
|4 March 2004||Singapore||Singapore||Singapore Indoor Stadium||N/A||N/A||–|
|8 March 2004||Tokyo||Japan||Nippon Budokan||N/A||N/A|
|9 March 2004||N/A||N/A|
|11 March 2004||Osaka||Osaka-jo Hall||N/A||N/A|
|14 March 2004||Kowloon||Hong Kong||Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre||N/A||N/A|
|29 March 2004||Philadelphia||United States||Wachovia Center||10,761 / 18,000||$645,380||–|
|30 March 2004||Boston||FleetCenter||N/A||N/A|
|1 April 2004||Toronto||Canada||Air Canada Centre||13,893 / 14,114||$771,136|
|2 April 2004||Ottawa||Corel Centre||N/A||N/A|
|4 April 2004||Quebec City||Colisée Pepsi||N/A||N/A|
|7 April 2004||Winnipeg||Winnipeg Arena||N/A||N/A|
|9 April 2004||Edmonton||Rexall Place||8,507 / 9,404||$342,609|
|11 April 2004||Kelowna||Skyreach Place||N/A||N/A|
|13 April 2004||Portland, Oregon||United States||Rose Garden Arena||N/A||N/A|
|14 April 2004||Seattle||KeyArena||6,065 / 6,500||$316,094|
|16 April 2004||Berkeley||Berkeley Community Theatre||N/A||N/A|
|17 April 2004||N/A||N/A|
|19 April 2004||Santa Barbara||Santa Barbara Bowl||4,546 / 4,562||$314,625|
|22 April 2004||Los Angeles||Greek Theatre||5,764 / 5,764||$360,560|
|23 April 2004||Anaheim||Arrowhead Pond||7,015 / 7,520||$498,218|
|25 April 2004||Loveland||Budweiser Events Center||4,177 / 5,440||$262,503|
|27 April 2004||Austin||The Backyard Amphitheater||N/A||N/A|
|29 April 2004||The Woodlands||Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion||N/A||N/A|
|30 April 2004||New Orleans||Saenger Theatre||N/A||N/A|
|5 May 2004||Tampa||Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center||N/A||N/A|
|8 May 2004||Atlanta||Chastain Park Amphitheater||N/A||N/A|
|10 May 2004||Kansas City||Starlight Theatre||N/A||N/A|
|11 May 2004||St. Louis||Fox Theatre||N/A||N/A|
|13 May 2004||Hershey||Star Pavilion||N/A||N/A|
|14 May 2004||London||Canada||John Labatt Centre||8,513 / 8,513||$446,740|
|16 May 2004||Fairfax||United States||Patriot Center||N/A||N/A|
|17 May 2004||Pittsburgh||Benedum Center||N/A||N/A|
|19 May 2004||Milwaukee||Milwaukee Theatre||N/A||N/A|
|20 May 2004||Indianapolis||Murat Shrine||N/A||N/A|
|22 May 2004||Moline||The MARK of the Quad Cities||N/A||N/A|
|24 May 2004||Columbus||Columbus Veterans Memorial Auditorium||N/A||N/A|
|25 May 2004||Buffalo||Shea's Performing Arts Center||N/A||N/A|
|27 May 2004||Scranton||Ford Pavilion at Montage Mountain||N/A||N/A|
|29 May 2004||Atlantic City||Borgata Event Center||N/A||N/A|
|30 May 2004||N/A||N/A|
|1 June 2004||Manchester, New Hampshire||Verizon Wireless Arena||N/A||N/A|
|2 June 2004||Uncasville||Mohegan Sun Arena||N/A||N/A|
|4 June 2004||Wantagh||Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theatre||N/A||N/A|
|5 June 2004||Holmdel||PNC Bank Arts Center||N/A||N/A|
|11 June 2004||Amsterdam||Netherlands||Amsterdam Arena||N/A||N/A||–|
|13 June 2004[a]||Newport||England||Seaclose Park||N/A||N/A|
|17 June 2004[b]||Bergen||Norway||Koengen||N/A||N/A|
|18 June 2004[c]||Oslo||Frognerbadet||N/A||N/A|
|20 June 2004[d]||Seinäjoki||Finland||Provinssirock||N/A||N/A|
|23 June 2004||Prague||Czech Republic||T-Mobile Arena||N/A||N/A|
|25 June 2004[e]||Scheeßel||Germany||Eichenring||N/A||N/A|
|Total||722,158 / 737,581||$45,395,490|
- On 19 August 2003 Bowie performed a one-off show in Poughkeepsie, New York at The Chance, as a warm up show.
- On 8 September 2003 Bowie performed a show at the Riverside Studios in London which was a 'satellite show'. This was a live performance beamed via satellite to cinemas and theatres across Europe and due to time delay the following day across Asia, Australia, North and South America.
- The concert on 13 June 2004 in Newport was part of the Isle of Wight Festival.
- The concert on 17 June 2004 in Bergen was part of the Bergen Festival.
- The concert on 18 June 2004 in Oslo was part of the Norwegian Wood Festival.
- The concert on 20 June 2004 in Seinäjoki was part of Provinssirock.
- The concert on 25 June 2004 in Scheeßel was part of the Hurricane Festival. This was also the final David Bowie concert as part of a headlining tour.
- Cancellations and rescheduled shows
|12 November 2003||Toulouse||Le Zénith de Toulouse||Cancelled|
|6 December 2003||Atlantic City||The Borgata Events Center||Rescheduled to 29 May 2004|
|7 December 2003||Fairfax||Patriot Center||Rescheduled to 16 May 2004|
|9 December 2003||Boston||Fleet Center||Rescheduled to 30 March 2004|
|10 December 2003||Philadelphia||Wachovia Center||Rescheduled to 29 March 2004|
|12 December 2003||Toronto||Air Canada Centre||Rescheduled to 1 April 2004|
|6 May 2004||Miami||James L. Knight Center||Cancelled|
|26 June 2004||Tuttlingen||Southside Festival||Cancelled|
|29 June 2004||Vienna||Schloss Schönbrunn||Cancelled|
|30 June 2004||Salzburg||Residenzplatz||Cancelled|
|2 July 2004||Roskilde||Roskilde Festival||Cancelled|
|4 July 2004||Werchter||Rock Werchter||Cancelled|
|6 July 2004||Ile De Gaou||Festival de la Gaou||Cancelled|
|7 July 2004||Carcassonne||Festival de la Cite||Cancelled|
|10 July 2004||Kinross||Balado, T in the Park||Cancelled|
|11 July 2004||County Kildare||Oxegen Festival||Cancelled|
|14 July 2004||Bilbao||Bilbao Festival||Cancelled|
|16 July 2004||Compostela||Xacobeo Festival||Cancelled|
|17 July 2004||Oporto||The Dragon Festival||Cancelled|
|20 July 2004||Nyon||Paléo Festival Nyon||Cancelled|
|21 July 2004||Monte Carlo||Club du Sporting||Cancelled|
|23 July 2004||Carhaix||Vieilles Charrues Festival||Cancelled|
- DVD/CD Included on A Reality Tour (film) and A Reality Tour (live album)
- CD Included on the live album
- iTunes Available as Digital download bonus tracks (iTunes) for the live album
From David Bowie
From Hunky Dory
From Aladdin Sane
From Diamond Dogs
From Young Americans
From Station to Station
From Let's Dance
- Bowie announces world tour
- Gilmore, Mikal (2 February 2012), "How Ziggy Stardust Fell to Earth", Rolling Stone magazine (1149): 36–43, 68
- Madonna Heads List Of Year's Top Tours, retrieved 20 September 2013
- "Bowie On World Tour", Sky News, 16 June 2003, archived from the original on 21 September 2013, retrieved 20 September 2013
- AOL Sessions Archived 17 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Jacobson, Colin (3 November 2004), David Bowie: A Reality Tour (2003), retrieved 20 September 2013
- Seating Plan
- Newton, Steve (13 January 2016). "David Bowie's final Vancouver show, 2004". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- MacDonald, Patrick (26 January 2004). "David Bowie: Supercool rock icon ever ch-ch-changing for the better". The Seattle Times. pp. E1–E3.
- Crew member dies at Bowie concert
- Lollipop hits Bowie in eye at gig
- Bowie recovers after heart surgery
- Greene, Andy (25 January 2016). "David Bowie Bassist Gail Ann Dorsey: 'He Altered the Course of My Life'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- "PRS Guitars Artist Profile for Gerry Leonard". Archived from the original on 24 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- Bowie gig beamed into cinemas
- Bowie thrills crowd with cinema gig