“Looking for Satellites” is one of the better songs on Earthling — in my opinion at least, and for better or worse, that’s the one that matters here. Even so, it goes on a bit too long, and though Reeves Gabrels is relatively restrained for most of it, he can’t resist a bit of wankery in the latter stages. But the visual presentation is striking, and Mike Garson’s coda — not present in the album version, which fades out — is a nice touch.
And that’s the end of the “You will now listen to my new material” part of the show; from here on in it’s all classics. If you were one of the people in the audience who twiddled their thumbs through the Earthling and Outside stuff, I bet you were pretty happy to hear the familiar bassline that kicks off the next song:
It takes guts to step into the Freddie Mercury role here, but Gail Ann Dorsey handles it with aplomb. And with all due respect, she has great legs as well. (more…)
When Robert Smith comes on stage with David Bowie, it’s a Moment. One could argue, and I will, that they are the living embodiments of two different decades.
I mean, you could get into endless arguments about who is the iconic face of the Seventies — in some parts of the world they’d say it’s Bob Marley, and who am I to say they’re wrong? — but for me it’s Bowie, period, end of sentence. And is there anyone whose entire being is more redolent of the Eighties than Mr. Smith?
The choice of “The Last Thing You Should Do” — an Earthling track destined to soon be forgotten by all but the most die-hard Bowieists — for their first song together seems perverse, but weirdly, it works. Smith’s distinctive wobbly vocals and guitar thrashing add human elements to a cold, antiseptic piece of work.
It’s worth noting that this was the first time Robert Smith met Reeves Gabrels, who would become a frequent collaborator and eventually a full-time member of The Cure. Reeves must be one charming MF in person; I can think of no other way to explain how he lasted a decade as Bowie’s right-hand man, and has spent even longer in Smith’s orbit, despite his compulsion to always play five notes where one would do. (more…)