‘It Ain’t Easy’ to capture the stardust, lustre and eclectic brilliance of David Bowie: his glam theatrics were the glitter and sass to his infinite musical finesse. David Bowie was a boss!
However, Electric Moon’s ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders Of Mars’ tribute production, directed by James Lees and a stellar line-up of Brisbane’s musical talent were ‘Heroes’ last Saturday (6 February) at the Brisbane’s Powerhouse.
The cast were magnanimous in their love and reverence of David Bowie and his iconic alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, blowing the hearts and minds of fans who packed the theatre to pay homage, celebrate and farewell our ‘Starman’.
This glam-rock cabaret was a grand collaborative effort, right down to Brett Harris’ glitter boots! Featuring an on-stage cast of 20 performers including 8 lead vocalists and a dynamic array of 12 musicians playing: strings, percussion, woodwind and rocking lead guitars. The tone was sublimely illuminated by lighting designer, Andrew Meadows.
The entire ensemble was testimony to the perfectionist alter-ego within David Bowie: his musical arrangements, staging, melodics and theatrical concepts were precision artistry. From beginning to end, Saturday’s production was a polished showcase of energy, passion and infectious performances!
The wicked band featured guitarists Jeff Lovejoy and Kevin Haigh; Christopher Dixon on sticks; Andrew Saragossi on sax, and Silver Sircus band members including director James Lees: the rhythms maestro!
Saturday’s performance was a cathartic affirmation of the greatness that was David Bowie. I'm a '70s love-child who’s only known a life with David Bowie. When I bounced into being, our timeless shape-shifter was transforming into glam rocker from a parallel universe: Ziggy Stardust. My mother sang: “You’d better not mess with Major Tom”, and immersed me in a diverse diet of Bowie tunes and alter-egos: ‘Golden Years’.
On Saturday night, I felt blessed, by my Ma’s influence on my lifetime of David Bowie memories. In 1987, we saw him together, live, at his Sydney Glass Spider show: he was epic!
‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders Of Mars’ wasn’t initially conceptualised by director James Lees as a posthumous tribute. David Bowie’s influence on the collective lives of the performers shone brightly, with each performer embracing the opportunity to express their relationship with Bowie.
Among the glitter and glam, David Bowie was avant-garde whose artistry reflected his intellectual insights of the human condition. This outstanding Brisbane production, featured within the MELT Festival: A Celebration of Queer Arts And Culture, highlighted David Bowie’s gift to us all: forever a Starman in the Sky, blowin’ our minds.
Featured lead vocalists and their tribute tracks
• ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’ and ‘Hang On To Yourself’: by feisty soul-stress Sahara Beck
• ‘5 years’, ‘Rock N Roll Suicide’ and ‘Ashes To Ashes’: by the versatile Lucinda Shaw
• ‘Lady Stardust’: by the flamboyant Sandro Colarelli
• ‘Soul Love’, ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ and ‘All The Young Dudes’: by rocker Brett Harris
• ‘Star’ and 'Suffragette City’: by hipster Tim Steward strutting his mojo
• ‘Starman’ and ‘Life On Mars’: by the transcendent Emma Dean
• ‘Moonage Daydream’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and ‘The Jean Genie’: by funkster Dan Hack, accompanied by Jimi Beavis on blues harp for 'The Jean Genie'
• Last, but by no means least, was Alison St Ledger’s spellbinding performances of: ‘It Ain't Easy’, 'Space Oddity’ and ‘Heroes’.