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A Reality Tour

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Album Review

Covering his career splendidly and pulling out a couple surprise numbers gives the A Reality Tour DVD a set list to die for if you're a hardcore Bowie fan, but the sterile perfection of the band makes this a pass for the only curious. The sound quality is just fine, the video quality is pretty good (some of the lighting just doesn't agree with the cameras), and there's an effort to keep things interesting with video tricks and found footage (including a heartwarming bit of The Uncle Floyd Show!). Numbers that aren't official Bowie tunes like "Sister Midnight" and "All the Young Dudes" add to a well-picked set of traditional Bowie, and "Loving the Alien" gets a surprising update. Problem is, this band seems better suited for the pop precision of "Blue Jean" than the quirky and trippy numbers that fill the show. Gail Ann Dorsey does an excellent job playing the Freddie Mercury role on "Under Pressure," but just like everyone else in the band, she's unwilling to really groove or challenge and push the frontman. Guitarist Earl Slick isn't given much to do, leaving guitarist/bandleader Gerry Leonard as the only interesting muso this time around. For some reason, Bowie seems as pleased as punch with this group, and his effervescent attitude should convince the hardcore this is something special. To them, it probably is, and they get a Springsteen-worthy two and a half hours of it. Pleasant, but where's the danger and sweat?

A Reality Tour, David Bowie
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