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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.
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 a angioplasty procedure. The previous performance at the T-Mobile Arena, Prague, Czech Republic on 23 June 2004 had been interrupted as Bowie was forced to leave the stage believing he was suffering from a trapped nerve in his left shoulder. A previous incident in Oslo on 18 June 2004 saw Bowie being struck in the left eye with a lollipop thrown by a member of the audience. On 6 May 2004, a performance at the James L. Knight Center, Miami, FL was cancelled after a lighting technician fell to his death prior to Bowie going onstage.
Bowie promoted this tour with appearances on primetime television shows such as The Tonight Show and on AOL Sessions.
A DVD video of the Point Theatre, Dublin performances of 2003 was released as A Reality Tour in 2004. A CD on the same performances was released as A Reality Tour in 2010.
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; nearly 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 of 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 (with Iggy Pop) and "Under Pressure" (with Queen), 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); no tracks from this album were included, possibly due to poor reception of the album. Other albums with no appearance included Space Oddity (1969), the cover album Pin Ups (1973), the ill-received Never Let Me Down (1987), the albums produced with the band Tin Machine, and Black Tie White Noise (1993).
A notable inclusion into the tour were the tracks from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, usually performed as the final encores. "Ziggy Stardust" was nearly always the finale of each concert.
The inclusion of tracks from Let's Dance and Tonight was also notable, considering a fan tendency to reject the albums as "too commercial", seeing the return of the singles "Modern Love", "Blue Jean", "Lets Dance""China Girl", and a semi-acoustic version of "Loving the Alien".
The interpretations presented often a heavier and more complex sound than those of the album releases to suit the band for which the Reality album had been written; a more dynamic "Rebel Rebel" which later saw a release as a bonus track was arranged as an opener which included notably some audience participation, though on a few occasions "New Killer Star" or "The Jean Genie" were played first. Use of audience vocals appear in a number of songs, most notably in interpretations of "China Girl", in which Bowie first invited the audience to sing on their own, only to inevitably fail, and then restarted the song singing it on his own. The process occurred somewhat vice-versa during performances of "All the Young Dudes", in which Bowie's voice was somewhat out of range to sing the chorus.
Live performance beamed via satellite to cinemas and theatres across Europe and due to time delay the following day across Asia, Japan, Australia. North America and South America .
- 07/10/2003 Forum - Copenhagen, Denmark
- 08/10/2003 The Globe - Stockholm, Sweden
- 10/10/2003 Hartwall Areena - Helsinki, Finland
- 12/10/2003 Oslo Spektrum - Oslo, Norway
- 15/10/2003 Ahoy Rotterdam - Rotterdam, Netherlands
- 16/10/2003 Color Line Arena - Hamburg, Germany
- 18/10/2003 Festhalle - Frankfurt, Germany
- 20/10/2003 Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy - Paris, France
- 21/10/2003 Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy - Paris, France
- 23/10/2003 Forum D'Assago - Milan, Italy
- 24/10/2003 Hallenstadion - Zurich, Switzerland
- 26/10/2003 Hanns-Martin Schleyerhalle - Stuttgart, Germany
- 27/10/2003 Olympiahalle - Munich, Germany
- 29/10/2003 Wiener Stadthalle - Vienna, Austria
- 31/10/2003 Kölnarena - Cologne, Germany
- 01/11/2003 Preussag Arena - Hanover, Germany
- 03/11/2003 Max-Schmeling-Halle - Berlin, Germany
- 05/11/2003 Sportpaleis Antwerpen - Antwerp, Belgium
- 07/11/2003 Le Zénith - Lille, France
- 08/11/2003 Le Galaxie - Amnéville, France
- 10/11/2003 Palais Nikaia - Nice, France
- 12/11/2003 (Cancelled due to illness) Le Zénith de Toulouse - Toulouse, France
- 14/11/2003 Le Dome de Marseille - Marseille, France
- 15/11/2003 Halle Tony Garnier - Lyon, France
- 17/11/2003 MEN Arena - Manchester, England
- 19/11/2003 National Exhibition Centre - Birmingham, England
- 20/11/2003 National Exhibition Centre - Birmingham, England
- 22/11/2003 Point Theatre - Dublin, Ireland
- 23/11/2003 Point Theatre - Dublin, Ireland
- 25/11/2003 Wembley Arena - London, England
- 26/11/2003 Wembley Arena - London, England
- 28/11/2003 SECC - Glasgow, Scotland
- 07/01/2004 CSU Convocation Center - Cleveland, OH
- 09/01/2004 The Palace of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, MI
- 11/01/2004 Target Center - Minneapolis, MN
- 13/01/2004 Rosemont Theatre - Chicago, IL
- 14/01/2004 Rosemont Theatre - Chicago, IL
- 16/01/2004 Rosemont Theatre - Chicago, IL
- 19/01/2004 Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO
- 21/01/2004 Pengrowth Saddledome - Calgary, AB
- 24/01/2004 General Motors Place - Vancouver, BC
- 25/01/2004 Paramount Theatre - Seattle, WA
- 27/01/2004 HP Pavilion at San Jose - San Jose, CA
- 30/01/2004 The Joint (Hardrock Hotel) - Las Vegas, NV
- 31/01/2004 Shrine Auditorium - Los Angeles, CA
- 02/02/2004 Shrine Auditorium - Los Angeles, CA
- 03/02/2004 Wiltern Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
- 05/02/2004 Dodge Theater - Phoenix, AZ
- 06/02/2004 The Joint (Hardrock Hotel) - Las Vegas, NV
- 07/02/2004 Wiltern Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
- 29/03/2004 Wachovia Center - Philadelphia, PA
- 30/03/2004 FleetCenter - Boston, MA
- 01/04/2004 Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
- 02/04/2004 Corel Centre - Ottawa, ON
- 04/04/2004 Colisée Pepsi - Quebec City, QC
- 07/04/2004 Winnipeg Arena - Winnipeg, MB
- 09/04/2004 Rexall Place - Edmonton, AB
- 11/04/2004 Skyreach Place - Kelowna, BC
- 13/04/2004 Rose Garden Arena - Portland, OR
- 14/04/2004 KeyArena - Seattle, WA
- 16/04/2004 Berkeley Community Theatre - Berkeley, CA
- 17/04/2004 Berkeley Community Theatre - Berkeley, CA
- 19/04/2004 Santa Barbara County Bowl - Santa Barbara, CA
- 22/04/2004 Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
- 23/04/2004 The Theatre at The Arrowhead Pond - Anaheim, CA
- 25/04/2004 Budweiser Events Center - Loveland, CO
- 27/04/2004 The Backyard - Austin, TX
- 29/04/2004 The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - The Woodlands, TX
- 30/04/2004 Saenger Theatre - New Orleans, LA
- 03/05/2004 Hammerstein Ballroom - New York, NY (2nd Annual Audi and Condé Nast 'Never Follow' Awards Show)
- 05/05/2004 The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center - Tampa, FL
- 06/05/2004 (Cancelled due to fatality) James L. Knight Center - Miami, FL
- 08/05/2004 Chastain Park Amphitheatre - Atlanta, GA
- 10/05/2004 Starlight Theatre - Kansas City, MO
- 11/05/2004 Fox Theatre - St. Louis, MO
- 13/05/2004 Star Pavilion - Hershey, PA
- 14/05/2004 John Labatt Centre - London, ON
- 16/05/2004 Patriot Center - Fairfax, VA
- 17/05/2004 Benedum Center - Pittsburgh, PA
- 19/05/2004 The Milwaukee Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
- 20/05/2004 Murat Theatre - Indianapolis, IN
- 22/05/2004 The Mark of the Quad Cities - Moline, IL
- 24/05/2004 Veterans Memorial Auditorium - Columbus, OH
- 25/05/2004 Shea's Performing Arts Center - Buffalo, NY
- 27/05/2004 Ford Pavilion at Montage Mountain - Scranton, PA
- 29/05/2004 The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa - Atlantic City, NJ
- 30/05/2004 The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa - Atlantic City, NJ
- 01/06/2004 Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, NH
- 02/06/2004 Mohegan Sun - Uncasville, CT
- 04/06/2004 Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theatre - Wantagh, NY
- 05/06/2004 PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ
- 11/06/2004 Arrow Rock Festival - Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 13/06/2004 The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival - Newport, Isle of Wight
- 17/06/2004 Bergen Festival - Bergen, Norway
- 18/06/2004 Norwegian Wood Festival - Oslo, Norway
- 20/06/2004 Provinssirock Festival - Seinäjoki, Finland
- 23/06/2004 T-Mobile Arena - Prague, Czech Republic
- 25/06/2004 Hurricane Festival - Scheeßel, Germany
- 26/06/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Southside Festival - Tuttlingen, Germany
- 29/06/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Schloss Schönbrunn - Vienna, Austria
- 30/06/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Residenzplatz - Salzburg, Austria
- 02/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Roskilde Festival - Roskilde, Denmark
- 04/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Rock Werchter Festival - Werchter, Belgium
- 06/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Festival de la Gaou - Ile De Gaou, France
- 07/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Festival de la Cite - Carcassonne, France
- 10/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) T In The Park - Balado, Scotland
- 11/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Oxegen Festival - Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Ireland
- 14/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Bilbao Festival, Bilbao Bullring - Bilbao, Spain
- 16/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Xacobeo Festival - Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- 17/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) The Dragon Festival, Estádio do Dragão - Oporto, Portugal
- 20/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Paléo Festival Nyon - Nyon, Switzerland
- 21/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Club du Sporting - Monaco
- 23/07/2004 (Cancelled due to Bowie's health problems) Vieilles Charrues Festival - Carhaix, France
From Space Oddity
From The Man Who Sold the World
- "The Man Who Sold the World"
- "The Supermen"
From Hunky Dory
- "Life on Mars?"
- "The Bewlay Brothers"
- "Queen Bitch"
From The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
- "Five Years"
- "Hang on to Yourself"
- "Ziggy Stardust"
- "Suffragette City"
From Aladdin Sane
- "Panic in Detroit"
- "The Jean Genie"
From Diamond Dogs
- "Diamond Dogs"
- "Rebel Rebel"
From Young Americans
From Station to Station
- "Station to Station"
- "Golden Years"
- "Breaking Glass" (Bowie, Dennis Davis, George Murray)
- "Sound and Vision"
- "Always Crashing in the Same Car"
- "Be My Wife"
- "A New Career in a New Town"
- "Fantastic Voyage" (Bowie, Eno)
From Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
- "Ashes to Ashes"
From Let's Dance
- "Modern Love"
- "China Girl" (originally from The Idiot by Iggy Pop, written by Pop and Bowie)
- "Let's Dance"
- "Loving the Alien"
- "Blue Jean"
- "Hallo Spaceboy" (Bowie, Eno)
- "The Motel" (Bowie, Eno)
- "New Killer Star"
- "Pablo Picasso"
- "Never Get Old"
- "The Loneliest Guy"
- "Looking for Water"
- "She'll Drive the Big Car"
- "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon"
- "Try Some, Buy Some"
- "Bring Me the Disco King"
- "A Hard Day's Night" (from A Hard Day's Night by The Beatles, written by Lennon)
- "All the Young Dudes" (from All the Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople, written by Bowie)
- "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" (from Electric Warrior by T.Rex, written by Marc Bolan)
- "Do You Know the Way to San José" (from Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls by Dionne Warwick, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David)
- "Here Comes the Sun" (from Abbey Road by The Beatles, written by George Harrison)
- "It Can't Happen Here" (from Freak Out! by The Mothers of Invention, written by Frank Zappa)
- "Like a Puppet on a String" (a single by Sandie Shaw, written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter)
- "Liza Jane" (the first ever Bowie's single, released under the name Davie Jones and the King Bees, written by Leslie Conn)
- "Rumble" (a single by Link Wray & His Ray Men, written by Milt Grant and Link Wray)
- "Sister Midnight" (from The Idiot by Iggy Pop, written by Pop, Bowie and Alomar)
- "Song 2" (from Blur by Blur, written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree)
- "Summertime" (from the opera Porgy and Bess, written by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin)
- "Under Pressure" (a single by Bowie and Queen from the Queen's Hot Space, written by Bowie, John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor)
- "White Light/White Heat" (from White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground, written by Lou Reed)
- "Y.M.C.A." (from Cruisin' by Village People, written by Henri Belolo, Jacques Morali and Victor Willis)
- Nicholas Pegg, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2004, ISBN 1-903111-73-0