David Bowie fans not lucky enough to catch him during his most recent world tour can witness the career-spanning spectacle on a new DVD capturing his magnetic Dublin performance from last November.
“David Bowie — A Reality Tour” is minimally priced, and it unfortunately shows. The nominal non-plastic case is flimsy but accompanied by a booklet containing crisp concert photographs. And there are no glittering extras on the DVD except for a jukebox feature which allows viewers to negate the set list and program up to seven songs of their choosing.
The pot o’ gold at the end of this rainbow is the diverse 30 songs Bowie performs from older albums “The Man Who Sold the World” and “Ziggy Stardust” to the more recent “Heathen” and “Reality.” There’s no “China Girl” or “Let’s Dance,” but there is “Rebel Rebel” and “Heroes.” About 60 songs were used throughout the nearly two-year-long tour, Bowie fans both young and old will find plenty of favorites to satisfy them on this DVD.
The 57-year-old’s rendition of “Under Pressure” — formerly a duet with Freddie Mercury from Queen — is particularly enchanting with bassist Gail Ann Dorsey filling in for Mercury and adding a more soulful dimension to the classic Bowie tune.
In several instances, the concert footage is bogged down with gimmicky video effects like fuzzy zooms, black-and-white and slow-motion. It’s unnecessary given Bowie’s almost two and a half hour performance, in which he’s mostly covered in blinding but beautiful light, is captivating.
Technically, the sound is wonderfully remixed into 5.1 Surround Sound. It’s very clear but too quiet. You’ll no doubt want to thrust the volume up during “I’m Afraid of Americans,” “Fame” and the grand finale “Ziggy Stardust.”
For any Bowie fan, “A Reality Tour” should really not be missed.