The Bowie sound and vision, 6/9/90

Location: Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS
Support act: Adrian Belew

The Thin White Duke was in town and high up on my bucket list. I was working at the Ritz-Carlton Kansas City (where a majority of the big names secured accommodations when Sound+Vision Tourtouring). As Bowie exited the hotel on the way to sound check that afternoon, I approached him and extended my hand saying something like, “Ready for the show?” to which he replied, “Rain or shine!” He flashed that big smile and shook my hand.

His tour manager handed me a couple passes and I happily left work early to attend. It was his Sound+Vision tour which was said to be the retirement of his hits. Of course, either from fan pressure or simply his love of a top-notch lifetime catalog (or both), he would again play those hits.

I also chatted up Adrian Belew who was Bowie’s opening act and also a guest in the hotel. We spoke about touring with Bowie as well as his work producing the second album from The Elvis Brothers, Adventure Time (Portrait, 1985). He had some kind words to share about the trio. Besides playing in Bowie’s band on the tour, their longtime relationship afforded him the opportunity to promote his excellent new album Young Lions. The release contained the animal rights anthem “Men in Helicopters,” a formidable cover of The Traveling Wilburys’ “Not Alone Anymore,” and two collaborations with Bowie, “Pretty Pink Rose” and “Gunman.”

The show was a fabulous illustration of Bowie’s priceless contribution to the history of rock and roll. He roared through his playbook with confidence and ease, stopping to speak to the fans frequently. As the show started and the lights went down, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” faded out and Bowie took to the stage with those beautiful beginning chords of “Space Oddity.” Eighteen songs later, the set was over and he took a quick break before the encore which included “The Jean Genie,” the Them cover of “Gloria,” and “Panic in Detroit” from his 1972 release Aladdin Sane. Check out the setlist here: Bowie setlist, 6/9/90

It was a joyous evening and Bowie will live in our hearts forever.

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