Isolar II – The 1978 World Tour
|Tour by David Bowie|
David Bowie performs in Oslo, Norway, 5 June 1978.
|Associated album||Low & "Heroes"|
|Start date||29 March 1978|
|End date||12 December 1978|
|No. of shows||77|
|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 years' 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 Stardust album in rehearsals, although most of the songs were never performed live on the tour. The instrumental track "Art Decade" typically followed the Ziggy Stardust tracks, a mellow track to follow the energy of the Ziggy Stardust material. Tracks from the 1976 album Station To Station 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 included 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 in Providence, Rhode Island, Boston Garden and Philadelphia Spectrum in Philadelphia 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 performances at Earls Court in London, England 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 performance at the NHK Hall in Tokyo, Japan on 12 December 1978 was filmed and broadcast on Japanese TV's The Young Music Show.
The final night of the Earls Court 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+Vision Tour.
The tour band remembered that "every show was taped" for Bowie's private use, and the tapes were carefully guarded by Alomar.
This is the typical setlist for all tour dates expect for some dates. Originally, the whole album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was set to be performed in the middle of the setlist.
- "What in the World"
- "Be My Wife"
- "The Jean Genie"
- "Sense of Doubt"
- "Speed of Life"
- "Breaking Glass"
- "Beauty and the Beast"
- "Five Years"
- "Soul Love"
- "Hang On to Yourself"
- "Ziggy Stardust"
- "Suffragette City"
- "Rock 'n' Suicide"
- "Art Decade"
- "Station to Station"
- "TVC 15"
- David Bowie – vocals, chamberlin
- 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, Moog Taurus bass pedals, 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 Management, Road Crew, Showco Crew, Personal Staff
- Jan Michael Alejandro – Band Tech (Pre Jan-Al Cases)
- Vern "Moose" Constan – Band Tech
- Rob Joyce – Stage Manager
- Leroy Kerr – Band Tech
- Edd Kolakowski – Piano and Keyboard Tech (Australia, New Zealand and Japan dates)
- Buford Jones – FOH Mixer
- Townsend Wessinger– Showco Sound Crew
- Billy King– Showco Sound Crew
- Russell Davis– Showco Sound Crew
- Randy Marshall– Showco Sound Crew
- Glenn George– Showco Sound Crew
- Lonnie McKenzie – Showco
- Warren Cunningham – Showco Lighting Crew
- Rick Hunnicuut – Showco Lighting Crew
- John Mitchell – Showco Lighting Crew
- Juan Gonzales – Showco Lighting Crew
- Kevin Di Piazza – Showco Lighting Crew
- Richard Brown– Showco Lighting Crew
- Kevin Randall– Showco Rigging Crew
- J. Smith– Showco Rigging Crew
- Lyle Centola– Showco Rigging Crew
- Morris Lyda – Production Consultant/ Advance Mgr
- David Bernstein – Cargo Guru (Pre Rock-it Cargo)
- Tony Macia – Mr Bowie's Driver / Bodyguard
- George, Stuart (Stuey) -Mr Bowie's Bodyguard
- Eric "B" Barrett –Tour Manager / Lighting Designer
- Ronn Roberts – Asst To The Tour Manager
- Pat Gibbons – Tour Manager / Accountant
- Truck Drivers (Europe) Richard Boote & Gwyn Lawrence
- Coco Schwab – Mr Bowie's Personal Assistant
|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||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||Arie Crown Theatre|
|18 April 1978|
|20 April 1978||Detroit, Michigan||Cobo Arena|
|21 April 1978|
|22 April 1978||Richfield, 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||Spectrum Arena|
|29 April 1978|
|1 May 1978||Toronto||Canada||Maple Leaf Gardens|
|2 May 1978||Ottawa, Ontario||Ottawa Civic Centre|
|3 May 1978||Montreal||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||Marseille||(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|
|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|
From Aladdin Sane
From Diamond Dogs
From Young Americans
From Station to Station
- 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