As Bowie embarked on his most courageous tour during the second half of 1995, he was laying it on the line. Not since the heady days of Tin Machine had he been this adventurous on stage. Hell, he went as far as to re-work previous classics like Andy Warhol and The Man Who Sold The World, giving them both a new lease of life. Almost is if he’s polished then en route to 1995. There was pre-millennium tension in the air and our mate Dave was riding it all the fucking way. He planted the seeds of this new direction as far back as 1993 with his cover of The Walker Brothers gem, Nite Flights on Black Tie, White Noise. Then, in 1994, he submitted a short story around the Nathan Adler diaries to Q magazine. It was a somewhat grotesque story about art ritual murders and would become the blue print for the 1. Outside LP and subsequent tour that would arrive a year later. Our Dave was in grave danger of becoming cool again.
The Outside tour began in Connecticut, USA on September 14 with the album following around two weeks later on September 25. The UK leg of the tour would open with four nights in London on November 14 before moving to Birmingham and Dublin. And it’s the show in Dublin that we are looking at now.
Having precociously has a half decent audience recording of the show, I was blown away when this soundboard recorded version arrived a couple of years ago. It’s one of a number of soundboard shows that turned up from this tour and it’s hard to go past it as being the best from the tour. There’s plenty of energy exuding from the band and Bowie himself quite enthusiastic about his diverse and expansive set list that unfolds. You can really tell he loves playing the new material as well as the older and more obscure selections from his back catalogue. The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (as beauty), A Small Plot Of Land and We Prick You sound as if they were made for the stage as well as the studio and the already classic Hearts Filthy Lesson seems to get Bowie quite excited. Oh, did I mention he pulls out My Death and performs outstanding renditions Of DJ and Teenage Wildlife? Yes, it does get that good.
An interesting side note is that Morrissey was still on the tour as support at this point (he would pull the pin after just 9 dates) and left many concert goers bewildered. Nine Ince Nails had been the support act throughout the US leg of the tour. Perhaps they should have been kept on board for the European shows too?
The whole concert is sublime. You gotta hear Bowie’s spoken word intro for A Small Plot Of Land. He’s at his cheeky best with this and goes into his cockney best on this occasion. Perfect! Like all the good concert tapes in my archive, this one goes by a little to quickly for my likely. It’s one of those shows you just don’t want to end. Like all good things though, it does come to a grinding halt with a thumping rendition of Moonage Daydream which leaves you a little breathless, craving more. The perfect end to the perfect concert. I do wonder how this soundboard recording managed to find its way out? Whoever it was and however it was, we should all be eternally grateful for such an amazing show in such pristine sound quality.
SETLIST: The Motel/Look Back In Anger/The Hearts Filthy Lesson/Scary Monsters/The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction/I Have Not Been To Oxford Town/Outside/Andy Warhol/The Man Who Sold The World/A Small Plot Of Land/Boys Keep Swinging/Strangers When We Meet/Jump, They Say/Hallo Spaceboy/Breaking Glass/We Prick You/Nite Flights/My Death/DJ/Teenage Wildlife/Under Pressure/Moonage Daydream