To finish up the Australian leg of the tour, Bowie played two back to
back shows at Sydney's RAS Show grounds.
again, the local council and residents objected. Paul Dainty
considered the (newly built) Entertainment Centre as an alternative but
it was deemed too small.
a lengthy, well publicised hearing, the Sydney concerts were given the
go ahead but with restrictions (no
rehearsals were allowed and the concerts had to be over by 10:15 PM).|
At the first concert, thousands apparently lined up from 9 AM. As the
morning went on,
TV cameras were sent to film the scene for the evening news, and radio
stations gave bulletins. It was a long, hot wait until the gates opened
at 2:00 PM. By
4:00 PM the crowds were so thick that members of he road crew, and David's
entourage were coming in stage with cameras to capture the scene.
RAS Showgrounds, 1983. Photo by Geofrey Schuck.
At 6:00 PM, the support band - the Models - were due to go on. They apparently
performed a good show although the crowd remained subdued.
one point someone with very bright blonde hair walked out....and screams
erupted. People stood up, but the poor man stood still, shocked. He shook
his head, waved and left. He was the drummer from the support band.
the time Bowie hit the stage, it was nearly dark and the large video screen
lit up clearly on a clear, balmy night, complete with a full - and serious
Crooning under the moonlight - Sydney, 1983. Photo by Geoffrey Schuck.
Minutes before going on stage, Bowie presented members of an Aboriginal
dance school a Exchequer for an unspecified amount. Present were the stars
of the 'Let's Dance' video, and it was a welcome boost for the
school as funds were running out. Bowie then walked up the stairs and strode on to the Sydney stage.
"The crowd were restless, cramped and tired. Yet within moments
the atmosphere lifted when (Bowie) could be seen, and the first group
of musicians ran onto the stage.
The first chords to "Look back in
Anger" played and David ran out. The crowd went wild. A
large group standing a few rows from the front began to push sending those
near the stage further forward. People were fainting from the heat and
crowd were mostly recent fans who had caught up with the 1983 Bowie, and
this was evident at the reception he received for his new material after
"Heroes". It was a stunning performance, the same as the shows
in the other cities. Practice had certainly made perfect."
With axemen Alomar
(guitar) and Rojas (bass) - Sydney, 1983. Photo by Geoffrey Schuck.
exhaustion everyone prepared to file out. But there was a surprise - the
sky lit up to a magnificent fireworks display.
On the final
night, the concert began extra early to avoid disturbing the nearby residents.
This meant that the show was half over before the video screen was able
to be seen.
Regardless, the second show was reportedly even better than
the first and Bowie was in fine voice - strong, pure and carrying all
around the grounds.
A 25,000 strong crowd stamped and clapped for an encore as fireworks split
across the night sky to spell out:
"Goodnight Sydney and Thank You
Sydney Set list
20 Nov, 1983
1 Look Back In Anger
3 What In The World
4 Golden Years
6 Let's Dance
7 Breaking Glass
8 Life On Mars
10 Cat People
11 China Girl
12 Scary Monsters
13 Rebel Rebel
14 White Light White Heat
15 Station To Station
16 Cracked Actor
17 Ashes To Ashes
18 Space Oddity
19 Young Americans
24 The Jean Genie
25 Modern Love
Sydney, 1983. Photo by Geoffrey Schuck.
in Sydney, Bowie went on a hired boat ride in Sydney
Harbour to apparently "write some new songs, and to get away from
previous night, he had been 'nightclubbing' at Jamison Street
press told stories of how Bowie keeps fit by boxing, and mentioned that
he often went to beaches to practice. Early risers were told they would
get a chance to see him practice if they could guess which beach he went
Fans kept a vigil outside his hotel and newspapers carried stories
of those lucky enough to meet him and receive autographs. According to Starzone, 1983 wasn't the awed welcome of 1978 but more like "a special
hello to an old friend".
store display, Sydney. (Click
to enlarge). From David Bowie's Serious Moonlight The World Tour