Kansas Mountain Magic (Golden Eggs EGG32/33)
Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO, USA – May 10, 2004
Disc 1 (75:53) Intro, Rebel Rebel, New Killer Star, Battle For Britain (The Letter), Cactus, Fashion, All The Young Dudes, China Girl, Pablo Picasso, Fame, The Loneliest Guy, The Man Who Sold The World, Breaking Glass, By My Wife, Hallo Spaceboy, Heathen (The Rays), Sunday
Disc 2 (62:44) Band Intro, Under Pressure, Days, Changes, The Supermen, Ashes To Ashes, Quicksand, White Light White Heat, Encore Break, Station To Station, Suffragette City, Ziggy Stardust
This review took me by surprise, I had actually been listening to another title, had some notes written down and then for a change of pace I threw this title in and was hooked, and curious. The sound is excellent soundboard quality yet there was some definite audience clearly in the mix, being a concert from 2004, so I consulted the internet. Sure enough back in 2013 The Phog released this via the intraweb. What we have is a matrix of two recordings, the first is an IEM recording taken from guitarist Earl Slick’s earfeed and the second is an audience source from the 7th row near the left side PA. A chap who uses the moniker alzeppelin did the matrix mix using Cooledit Pro, the result is a perfect blend of the two sources and a near official sounding release. The IEM is well balanced crisp and clean, the audience source is very good, there were some excited women near by and you can here them scream loudly for David, shades of the early 70’s. If anything, there is a very slight amount of tape hiss present, nothing to worry about and this recording demands to be played at loud volumes for maximum enjoyment.
Other than the superb sound quality, there is much to enjoy about this concert. First off the band is exceptional, Earl Slick on lead guitar, Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and backing vocals, longtime Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson, Sterling Campbell on drums, and Gerry Leonard and Catherine Russell on guitars, backing vocals and keyboards. The ensemble is very tight, since this is Slick’s guitar feed, he is very nice in the mix, his guitar has a nice and nasty sound to it, giving a great rock and roll sound to the material. Second, Bowie is in a great mood and his between song banter is warm and infectious. He introduces the songs and gives a very personable response to the cheering audience in Kansas City, calling them “crazy motherfuckers”. The liner notes describe how one female fan gave him a scarf to wipe the sweat from his brow, which he duly did and gave it back to her ala Elvis Presley then commented “That’s the singularly most ludicrous thing I’ve done on this tour” (just prior to Breaking Glass). All of David’s conversations sound genuine and it’s obvious he, and the band, are enjoying themselves.
Lastly is the set list, this tour found Bowie playing selections from The Man Who Sold The World through his then current record Reality. The group gives the older material a bit of a face lift, songs like The Man Who Sold The World and The Supermen sound right at home by New Killer Star and Hallo Spaceboy. There are several covers, The Pixies song Cactus is always great, The Modern Lovers Pablo Picasso, and a blistering version of The Velvet Underground’s White Light, White Heat. His collaborations are well covered, Fame (John Lennon), China Girl (Iggy Pop), and Under Pressure (Queen). Fame reeks of swagger, the groove is just plain sexy. Under Pressure, as usual, features the excellent vocals of Gail Ann who seems to channel Freddie’s spirit. This concert also features the first version of the classic Station To Station of the tour, it seems the band was quite comfortable by this time and was beginning to dig very deep. Simply a superb performance.
The packaging is what we come to expect from Golden Eggs, a tri-gate-fold sleeve adorned with live shots of David, for a man of 57 he looked stunning on this tour, Fit trim and dressed in jeans and a multitude of sharp looking jackets, always very fashionable. I did not see any other releases of this concert by other labels, this is the first. A superb release by Eggs, so good it had me hitting the brakes so to speak as this title has been in constant rotation on the house stereo to the car, a back and forth several times.