Celebrating David Bowie

Celebrating David Bowie: Artists Raise the Roof at The Regency to Raise Funds and Honor an Icon

(The Regency Ballroom, March 22, 2016)

On Tuesday night (March 22), actor Gary Oldman and musician / producer Scrote (Angelo Bundini) brought their music showcase “Celebrating David Bowie” to The Regency Ballroom. A fundraising event for the T. J. Martell Foundation (http://www.tjmartell.org/) which funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. After a sold out performance at The Roxy in February, for this installment the guest list was a blend of southern and northern California musicians that included Holly Palmer, Mark Plati, Gaby Moreno, Angelo Moore, Jerry Harrison, Joe Sumner, Dorian Holley, Lyle Workman, Mirv, Patrick Warren, Brain, Eric Gorfain, Magik*Magik Orchestra, Blair Sinta, Mark Degli Antoni, Paul Bushnell, Jebin Bruni, Ron Dziubla, House, Princess Frank, Rob Reich, Wil Blades, Michael Urbano, Josh Lopez, Jeremy Little, Jamison Smeltz, Brett Hool, Brad Brooks, Jim Greer, Shawn Davis, Adam Theis, Randy Walker, Rich Armstrong, Karina Denike, Marcus Blake, Jim Bogios, Mark Growden, Craig McFarland, and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Ensemble. It was a stellar list of artists who have either worked with Bowie himself or with other well known artists such as Tom Waits, Sting, Seal, Herbie Hancock, Brian Eno, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Danny Elfman, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Wonder to name only a few. With the kind of punch one could expect from such a list, they all came together for this one time performance and gleefully romped through Bowie catalog for over three hours.

 

With occasional personnel changes in the band led by Scrote, they backed up vocalists as they rotated with each song played. For a show running this long and with so many changes, it was surprisingly tight and moved at a good pace. Never a miss or a flat spot, the night remained consistent. The sound was solid and delivered good dynamics throughout the night. There were many high points along the way, such as Angelo Moore who is simply magnetic any time he takes the stage. Princess Frank was also notable for the energy he brought (particularly for hisYoung Americans), Jeremy Little who had a memorable Bowie vibe and Carletta Sue Kay (aka Randy Walker) who was visually “over the top,” but also gave an excellent performance of Changes. Jean Genie was memorably and intensely performed by Preacher Boy with an interesting blues vibe as he played slide on his vintage National guitar. One of the most stunning and memorable moments came as vocalist Gaby Moreno returned a second time to perform Wild is the Wind. As the song steadily built, she concluded with a note that approached glass shattering strength. It was one of those jaw dropping moments that had the house roaring. Much credit must be given to the band. Swelling at times to as many as 13 members, plus the addition of The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Ensemble for All the Young Dudes and Young Americans, they always sounded focused and well rehearsed.

Celebration is the operative word here. What took place on Tuesday evening was exactly that and one in which David Bowie would likely have reveled. The transformative power of Bowie’s music was made evident as we were treated to this performance. On songs like All the Young Dudes, Young Americans and especially Heroes, the sound felt so rich and full that it must have been challenging for the walls and roof to contain it. That it could all blow wide open at any moment, allowing the sound to escape to the heavens and beyond. This was a night of solid performances, delivered with style and gave us all a very satisfying ride through the Bowie catalog.

SET LIST W / VOCALISTS:

DEAD MAN WALKING (Gary Oldman – lead vocal), TIME (Jebin Bruni – piano, Patrick Warren – piano, Rob Reich – accordion), SORROW (Gary Oldman/Joe Sumner – lead vocal), FIVE YEARS (Gaby Moreno -lead vocal, Gary Oldman, Joe Sumner – backing vocals), SPACE ODDITY (Dorian Holley – lead vocal), LIFE ON MARS (Joe Sumner – lead vocal Alex Painter – backing vocal), OH YOU PRETTY THING (Brad Brooks – lead vocal Alex Painter, Paul Jensen – backing vocals),
MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (Jeremy Little – lead vocal Gary Oldman – backing vocal), WHERE ARE WE NOW? (Holly Palmer – lead vocal), A BETTER FUTURE (Simon Petty, Celia Chavez – lead vocals), SOUND & VISION (Simon Petty – lead vocal Holly Palmer, Celia Chavez – backing vocals), ROCK’N’ROLL SUICIDE (Mark Growden – lead vocal Alex Painter, Paul Jensen, Gary Oldman – backing vocals), CHANGES (Carletta Sue Kay (aka Randy Walker) – lead vocal Alex Painter, Paul Jensen – backing vocals), STARMAN (Simon Petty – lead vocal Brett Hool – acoustic guitar, backing vocal Alex Painter – backing vocal), JOHN, I’M ONLY DANCING (Alex Painter – lead vocal Marcus Blake – backing vocal), ZIGGY STARDUST (Brett Hool – lead vocal, acoustic guitar Marcus Blake – backing vocal), REBEL REBEL (Paul Jensen – lead vocal Brett Hool – acoustic guitar, backing vocal), MOONAGE DAYDREAM (Angelo Moore – lead vocal Jeremy Little, Gary Oldman – backing vocal), SUFFRAGETTE CITY (Princess Frank – lead vocal Jeremy Little – backing vocal), JEAN GENIE (Preacher Boy (aka Christopher Watkins) – lead vocal, National acoustic guitar), WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (Jerry Harrison – lead vocal, keys), ALL THE YOUNG DUDES (Princess Frank – lead vocal Holly Palmer, Celia Chavez, Gary Oldman – backing vocals), YOUNG AMERICANS (Princess Frank – lead vocal Holly Palmer, Celia Chavez, Gary Oldman – backing vocals), STAY (Scrote – lead vocal, electric guitarLibby Lavella, Celia Chavez  – backing vocals, tambourine), HEROES (Joe Sumner – lead vocal Gary Oldman, Holly Palmer, Celia Chavez – backing vocals), ASHES TO ASHES (Angelo Moore – lead vocal), FAME (Jeremy Little – lead vocal Libby Lavella, Celia Chavez – backing vocals), FASHION (Scrote – lead vocal Libby Lavella, Celia Chavez  – backing vocals, claps), GOLDEN YEARS (Jeremy Little – lead vocal Libby Lavella, Celia Chavez – backing vocals, Gary Oldman – backing vocal, whistle), WILD IS THE WIND (Gaby Moreno – lead vocal Mark Plati – electric guitar), ALADDIN SANE (Alex Painter – lead vocal Paul Jensen, Celia Chavez  – backing vocals),
THIS IS NOT AMERICA (Dorian Holley – lead vocal Paul Jensen, Celia Chavez  – backing vocals), ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (Alex Painter – lead vocal Paul Jensen, Celia Chavez – backing vocals, tambourine), MODERN LOVE (Paul Jensen – lead vocal Libby Lavella, Celia Chavez – backing vocals), LET’S DANCE (Paul Jensen  – lead vocal Libby Lavella , Celia Chavez – backing vocals), CHINA GIRL (Brad Brooks – lead vocal Karina Denike, Meryl Theo Press – backing vocals),
BLUE JEAN (Dorian Holley – lead vocal Paul Jensen, Karina Denike, Meryl Press  – backing vocals), UNDER PRESSURE (Holly Palmer, Joe Sumner – lead vocal Paul Jensen, Karina Denike, Meryl Press  – backing vocals)