Diamond Dogs Tour
|Tour by David Bowie|
Bowie performing at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina on 5 July 1974
|Associated album||Diamond Dogs|
|Start date||14 June 1974|
|End date||2 December 1974|
|No. of shows||78 (80 scheduled)|
|David Bowie concert chronology|
The Diamond Dogs Tour was a concert tour by David Bowie in North America in 1974 to promote the studio album Diamond Dogs (1974). The end of the tour was also called The Soul Tour, which included some songs from the forthcoming album Young Americans (1975).
Tour preparation and details
Two months of rehearsals were required to get the tour ready, in part due to the elaborate set & props required for the show (reported to cost $275,000 per set, or about $1,400,000 today). Originally the tour was planned to appear in a city for five nights before moving on to the next city, but that plan was abandoned early on. The tour started in June 1974 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as the "Diamond Dogs Tour" (although producer Tony DeFries demanded the tour be referred to as "The Year of the Diamond Dogs" when speaking with the press). Bowie recorded radio and television commercials for the tour, which played in advance of the tour's arrival in each city. The tour took the month of August 1974 off, during which time Bowie began recording his follow-up studio album, Young Americans. On 10 October 1974, after the tour had resumed, Bowie abandoned the extravagant theatrical set and re-branded the tour "The Soul Tour", which would continue through the end of the North American leg in December.
In 1987, Bowie recalled how difficult the tour was early on before changing it into the 'Soul Tour', saying "I was in a bad state of mind to have attempted that. It was pretty exciting, but I was so blocked [laughs], so stoned during the entire thing that I'm amazed I lasted with it even that one trip across America before I ditched it."
The set for the theatrical Diamond Dogs tour was designed by Mark Ravitz, who would go on to design sets for artists such as KISS, Whitney Houston and the Backstreet Boys, as well as for Bowie's 1987 Glass Spider Tour. The set was built to resemble a city (called "Hunger City"), weighed 6 tons and incorporated over 20,000 moving parts including a variety of props (such as streetlamps, chairs and catwalks). The props themselves weren't ready for use until a mere 6 days before the show opened, which led to a variety of technical problems during the tour: a movable catwalk collapsed once during the tour with Bowie on it. The set was at least partially based on work by German artist George Grosz. In 1990, while preparing for his Sound+Vision Tour, Bowie recalled the difficulties faced by the show, saying it "was good fun and dangerous, with the equipment breaking down and the bridges falling apart on stage. I kept getting stuck out over the audience's heads, on the hydraulic cherry picker, after the finish of 'Space Oddity.'"
Other props worked as expected: for the song "Big Brother", Bowie sang while atop a multi-mirrored glass "asylum", emerging during the next song ("Time") sitting in the palm of a giant hand covered in small light bulbs.
The show in Tampa, Florida, was performed without any of the stage props because the truck driver driving those components ended up in a highway ditch after being stung by a bee.
In 1987, while preparing for the Glass Spider Tour (which picked up theatrically where the Diamond Dogs tour left off and was also designed by Ravitz), Bowie recalled about the extraordinary nature of the set he used during this tour, saying "We had four skyscrapers on stage, with bridges that went backwards and forward and would go up and down. The whole thing was built on a city pretext. I had dancers working with me and it was choreographed and was a real fantastic musical event. I thoroughly enjoyed working like that.
MainMan, Bowie's management team, planned to cull a live album from the July 1974 performances at the Tower Theater just outside Philadelphia. When the band learned of this, they demanded to be paid a standard recording fee of $5000 per musician in addition to their normal pay or they would refuse to perform. They were given checks hours before show time, and the concert recording went on as planned.
A Portrait in Flesh, a bootleg of the September 5, 1974 show in Los Angeles was released in Australia.
An official version of the 5 September 1974 show at Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheatre, mixed by Tony Visconti in 2016, was first released as Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74), a 3-LP set, for Record Store Day on 22 April 2017. The set was later released on CD and digital formats in June 2017.
"The Soul/Philly Dogs Tour" – October–December:
- Two concerts were performed on 16 June in Toronto.
|North America (First Leg)|
|14 June 1974||Montreal||Canada||Montreal Forum||18,500/18,500|
|15 June 1974||Ottawa||Ottawa Civic Centre||10,000/10,000|
|16 June 1974||Toronto||O'Keefe Centre||3,191/3,191|
|17 June 1974||Rochester||United States||Rochester Community War Memorial||12,000/12,000|
|18 June 1974||Cleveland||Public Auditorium||20,000/20,000|
|19 June 1974|
|20 June 1974||Toledo||Toledo Sports Arena||6,500/6,500|
|22 June 1974||Detroit||Cobo Hall||22,000/22,000|
|23 June 1974|
|24 June 1974||Trotwood||Hara Arena||5,500/5,500|
|25 June 1974||Cincinnati||Cincinnati Gardens|
|26 June 1974||Pittsburgh||Syria Mosque||7,400/7,400|
|27 June 1974|
|28 June 1974||Charleston||Charleston Civic Center||12,000/12,000|
|29 June 1974||Nashville||Nashville Municipal Auditorium||10,000/10,000|
|30 June 1974||Memphis||Mid-South Coliseum||9,875/10,085|
|1 July 1974||Atlanta||Fox Theatre||4,665/4,665|
|2 July 1974||Tampa||Curtis Hixon Hall||5,350/5,350|
|3 July 1974||Casselberry||Seminole Turf Club||2,450/2,450|
|5 July 1974||Charlotte||Park Center||3,500/3,500|
|6 July 1974||Greensboro||Greensboro Coliseum||23,000/23,000|
|7 July 1974||Norfolk||Norfolk Scope||13,800/13,800|
|8 July 1974||Upper Darby||Tower Theater||18,384/18,384|
|9 July 1974|
|10 July 1974|
|11 July 1974|
|12 July 1974|
|13 July 1974|
|14 July 1974||New Haven||New Haven Coliseum||11,000/11,000|
|16 July 1974||Boston||Music Hall||3,500/3,500|
|Yarmouth||Cape Cod Coliseum|
|19 July 1974||New York City||Madison Square Garden||40,000/40,000|
|20 July 1974|
|North America (Second Leg)|
|2 September 1974||Los Angeles||United States||Universal Amphitheatre||43,323|
|3 September 1974|
|4 September 1974|
|5 September 1974|
|6 September 1974|
|7 September 1974|
|8 September 1974|
|11 September 1974||San Diego||San Diego Sports Arena||14,800/14,800|
|13 September 1974||Tucson||Tucson Convention Center||2,200/2,200|
|14 September 1974||Phoenix||Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum||16,000/16,000|
|15 September 1974||Anaheim||Anaheim Convention Center||15,000/15,000|
|16 September 1974|
|North America (Third Leg)|
|5 October 1974||Saint Paul||United States||Saint Paul Civic Center||18,000/18,000|
|8 October 1974||Indianapolis||Indiana Convention Center||20,000/22,000|
|10 October 1974||Madison||Dane County Coliseum|
|11 October 1974||10,300/10,300|
|13 October 1974||Milwaukee||MECCA Arena||12,700/12,700|
|15 October 1974||Detroit||Michigan Palace Theater||20,250/20,250|
|16 October 1974|
|17 October 1974|
|18 October 1974|
|19 October 1974|
|20 October 1974|
|21 October 1974||Chicago||Arie Crown Theater|
|22 October 1974||8,500/8,500|
|23 October 1974|
|28 October 1974||New York City||Radio City Music Hall||41,720/41,720|
|29 October 1974|
|30 October 1974|
|31 October 1974|
|1 November 1974|
|2 November 1974|
|3 November 1974|
|6 November 1974||Cleveland||Public Auditorium||10,000/10,000|
|8 November 1974||Buffalo||War Memorial Stadium||37,500/37,500|
|11 November 1974||Landover||Capital Centre||21,000/21,000|
|14 November 1974||Boston||Music Hall||10,500/10,500|
|15 November 1974|
|16 November 1974|
|18 November 1974||Philadelphia||The Spectrum||18,000/18,000|
|19 November 1974||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh Civic Arena||18,240/18,240|
|24 November 1974||Philadelphia||The Spectrum|
|25 November 1974||18,000/18,000|
|28 November 1974||Memphis||Mid-South Coliseum||10,000/10,000|
|30 November 1974||Nashville||Nashville Municipal Auditorium||9,700/9,700|
|1 December 1974||Atlanta||Omni Coliseum||18,000/18,000|
From David Bowie
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