The ultimate David Bowie concert setlist

It’s sad to think that Bowie is mostly retired now. The chances of him producing more music, or touring, are small. The man’s in his 60’s now and deserves to relax and enjoy the profits of his amazing life so far- he has a beautiful wife, a young daughter, and a successful son, after all.

Lately, as I’ve been going through a broad array of old Bowie shows that have been resurfacing on the Internet, it occurred to me that there were many, many great songs of his that he never played live, or never did justice to when I saw them. So, I figured, what the hell, be a fanboy and come up with my own ideal setlist. I decided to specifically avoid the songs he always plays (“Heroes,” Let’s Dance, Ashes to Ashes) even though I love many of his big hits. Instead, this is mostly a list of songs that were never singles, in fact, some were b-sides.

  1. It’s No Game, Part 1 (1980)
  2. Time Will Crawl (1987)
  3. Golden Years (1976)
  4. DJ (1979)
  5. Rock ‘n Roll With Me (1974)
  6. Space Oddity (1969)
  7. Wood Jackson (1999)
  8. Underground (1986)
  9. Miracle Goodnight (1992)
  10. Blackout (1977)
  11. No Control (1995)
  12. Girls (1987)
  13. I Pray, Ole (1979)
  14. Everyone Says ‘Hi’ (2002)
  15. There’s Something In The Air (1999)
  16. Thru These Architects Eyes (1995)
  17. 1984 / Dodo (1974)
  18. Tonight (1984)
  19. Days (2003)
  20. Where Have All The Good Times Gone? (1973)
  21. Fascination (1975)
  22. If I’m Dreaming My Life (1999)
  23. It’s No Game, Part 2 (1980)

Encore

  1. Eight Line Poem (1971)
  2. Criminal World (1983)
  3. Starman (1972)
  4. Julie (1987)
  5. Ziggy Stardust (1972) (*)

I suppose you could throw some of his big songs in there if you really wanted a complete show: something like I’m afraid of Americans, China Girl or Fame. But he plays those songs at every show (well, nearly all) and I’m looking for the things he hasn’t played live, or hasn’t played recently (like Space Oddity, which I don’t believe he has performed since 1990), or has only played a few times.

 

Some fans may ask “Nothing from Low or Aladdin Sane?” Those are great albums, but he’s already played all the songs from those albums (remember a few years ago when he’d play Low in its entirety in concert? Cool, but it’s been done).

(*) Why Ziggy Stardust? Hasn’t that been overplayed? Well, yes, and I wouldn’t normally have included it, but there’s a story here. In 2002, the Area 2 show hit George, Washington (I was there), and he said this before he played Ziggy Stardust: “This is one of the first songs I sang when I came to America, and it may be my last.” (direct quote: I have the bootleg from this show). After I got home from the show, I went online to DavidBowie.com (also called BowieNet), which I was a member of, and asked for clarification on the message boards. Did anyone else think that Bowie was saying that he was done singing in America? To my surprise, David Bowie answered me directly (under his MB handle “Sailor”): “No, what I meant was, the last time I sing in America, I’ll likely make that my last song.” (paraphrased a bit, since I’m no long a BowieNet member, I can’t go back and see what he said exactly.) Anyways, for that reason, I’m including the song in my setlist 🙂

(I’m in this picture – really I am – in the middle you can see a piece of paper being held up (it says “Underground” on it btw) – I’m a few paces to the center of the picture from the girl holding the sign up. Of course all you can see are my hands)

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2 Responses to The ultimate David Bowie concert setlist

  1. Brent says:

    You win. This post totally outgeeks anything I could ever write. But you did pick some Bowie songs I like! Impressive.

  2. Christopher says:

    Well if there\’s one thing I\’m good at, it\’s being a geek 🙂

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