David Bowie Tribute in Ontario: We Can Be Heroes Just for One Day.
David Bowie once gave some sage advice about stepping out of your comfort zone: “Confront a corpse at least once. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have.”
Mr. Bowie’s life took a leave of absence from this world on January 10 of this year. His death seemed to herald the beginning of the musical version of the rapture, as a whole slew of musical icons started shedding the mortal coil right after. Just goes to show that he was always a trend setter.
And, as so obviously noted by every pundit worth their weight in punditry, Mr. Bowie’s influence was far flung. This was evidenced by the show “TVC16—A Celebration of David Bowie," held in a large room at the back of an Eagles Lodge in downtown Ontario, on April 30, 2016.
37 musicians, mostly from the Inland Empire, gathered together to confront the body of work left behind by The Thin White Duke. The show had an impromptu feel, yet proved to be an entertaining, belated wake. Like a good memorial, it mostly celebrated the early days, with the vast majority of songs coming from the seventies and eighties.
Opening band Casey Jones & The Railsplitters got the show off to a good start, getting all hunky dory with “Changes” and “Life on Mars?” Dennis LeBlanc, of The Shadow Ridge Conspiracy, came on to do that old glam standard “Queen Bitch.” The band Kermit followed with a short set, highlighted by a very funky version of "Young Americans.”
Most Valuable Player goes to Tony Snow, who did a lion’s share of the work that night, lending his talents on drums, percussion, and harmonica to the various bands performing. Snow, the drummer for 80's band Dramarama, is also the lead singer and keyboard player of the Vintage City Rockers. Their too-short set was all swagger and rock star bravado, culminating in a raucous version of “Suffragette City.”
Snow got behind the drums for the final performance of the evening by All The Old Dudes, a group that came together especially for the show. They did a nice Bowie retrospective with songs ranging from “The Width of a Circle" to “I’m Afraid of Americans." They were joined by Jaime St. James (of Black ‘N Blue fame) who brought his glam metal gravitas to a couple of songs from Ziggy Stardust.
Here’s a video of the set. Definitely worth a gander:
The encore turned out to be “Purple Rain” for the recently departed Prince, another iconoclast turned to ashes.
As we age, it’s going to happen more and more, this thinning of the herd. More tribute shows are coming down the pike. All our musical heroes will be gone, except for maybe Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis. My money's on Jerry Lee, but that's a topic for another time.
Hugo is a contributing writer to the ConceptuaLine blog and an accomplished copywriter in both English and Spanish. Catch him on Friday nights supporting Lancer football.