On Tuesday, A Bowie Celebration: The David Bowie Alumni Tour, makes a stop at The Town Ballroom in Buffalo. With all the big names that are coming to town over the next few months, this is a show that may have flown under the radar for some music fans, and it is well worth checking out.
Over his storied career, David Bowie worked with scores of musicians, so there is an almost endless supply of some of the best touring and session players on the planet to assemble for a tribute show. The lineup coming to The Town Ballroom is a supergroup of sorts, and includes some names that fans might be familiar with for their work beyond the things they did with David Bowie.
The tour is headed up by keyboardist Mike Garson who performed with Bowie over 1000 times, and has the distinction of appearing on Bowie’s first and last major tours. Garson was on keyboards when Bowie last performed in Buffalo in 2004. Garson has also worked with The Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails.
Also on the tour is guitarist Earl Slick, whose history with Bowie dates back to 1974 and the Diamond Dogs Tour. Slick is a legendary guitarist who was part of the recording sessions for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Double Fantasy” and the latter release “Milk and Honey,” which turned out to be Lennon’s last recordings. Slick was also on Bowie’s last album, “The Next Day,” and in recent years has toured with The New York Dolls and The Yardbirds.
The other guitarist on the tour is a name you might be familiar with, Charlie Sexton, who had a solo hit with “Beat’s So Lonely” back in 1985, which he recorded when he was 16 years old. Sexton was also a part of the the Arc Angels, an amazing band that featured Stevie Ray Vaughn’s rhythm section. Sexton has also been a fixture in Bob Dylan’s touring band for years.
On bass is Carmine Rojas, whose full resume is way too long for this column. His best-known work is with David Bowie, but he was also an important part of Rod Stewart and Joe Bonamassa’s touring ensembles. Carmine is one of the best bass players around, he makes any band that he is in even better. That’s his bass on all of the hits on Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” album.
One other member of note is, Grammy Award winner Corey Glover, the lead singer of Living Colour, a group best known for the radio hit “Cult of Personality.” Glover has a commanding stage presence and he is a powerful vocalist. Glover was with the Experience Hendrix Tour and nailed the Hendrix material, he should add some power to the show. There are more musicians in the ensemble, all of whom will add to what promises to be a fitting tribute to Bowie.
David Bowie would have turned 72 years old last month. Over his storied career, he didn’t tour a lot, and he had ceased touring by 2004, 12 years before he died in 2016. Tuesday’s show will give fans a chance to celebrate Bowie with an impressive ensemble of musicians who knew him and his songs well.