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1983 Serious Moonlight Tour (AUS/NZ)

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Melbourne VFL Park: November 12

In Melbourne, Bowie played a single outdoor show at the massive football stadium known as VFL Park - the current home of Victorian football.


On rare occasions, the 78,000 capacity venue was used for concerts (KISS Destroyer and U2's Pop Mart) and for a short time in the late 70s, World Series Cricket.


The scale of this particular concert was notably large. The biggest of all Australian Bowie shows, news articles reported the attendance at "40,000 strong", "41,000" or alternatively "more than 45,000".


A
ccording to Starzone, the rush for telephone sales was so sudden that Melbourne phone lines went down a few hours after sales began.



At VFL Park, the giant V shaped screen normally used to project football, now projected Bowie's Serious Moonlight emblem - and the subsequent concert as a video stream.






Bowie fan, Nute Jenson recalls that Bowie drove into the oval in a white limousine flanked by motorcycle security. "There was no encore, but the concert was fantastic none the less."


Although a set list or bootleg of this concert seems to be sadly lacking, we can gather through news reports that Bowie opened with 'Look Back in Anger' (from 1979's Lodger) and closed with 'Modern Love' (from 1983's Let's Dance).


In between, audiences were treated to versions of 'Station to Station', 'Sorrow', 'Young Americans', 'Fashion', 'China Girl', 'Heroes', 'Let's Dance', 'Stay', 'Golden Years', 'Cracked Actor', 'Ashes to Ashes', 'White Light White Heat', 'Life on Mars' and 'Space Oddity'.



In Melbourne, Bowie stayed at the Hilton Hotel - the same place he had stayed in 1978 - just opposite the MCG where he had played on that occasion.



Above: VFL Park circa 1982 - shortly after the installation of the video screen (photo from Monash Stadium website). Below: Post demolation. The oval and part of the grandstand have been retained whilst the area surrounding is being re-developed into housing.




Above: Ticket scan. Below: Bowie at VFL Park. Photo by Recy M. Kypri. Items from Bruce Butler's collection.

 

Items from Bruce Butler's collection.

Items from Bruce Butler's collection.

Above: relaxing backstage in Melbourne. Right: one of the Simms Brothers showing some serious moon. Images from David Bowie's Serious Moonlight The World Tour.







News Articles


Reports in the news media were mixed but as one journalist probably accurately described, the enjoyment probably varied depending on proximity to the stage. Apart from the echoey sound of such a large venue, the video produced by the big screen looked out of sync for those sitting further back (due to natural phenomenon of sound waves traveling slower than light).

Thanks to Stevee for scanning and sending in the following articles.



From The Sun, November 14, 1983:












From The Age, November 14, 1983:















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