The Ziggy Stardust Full Album Tribute


2/28, 1078 Gallery, presented by the Uncle Dads Art Collective 

The idea was simple enough: the Uncle Dad’s Art Collective asked one local band to perform each song off of David Bowie’s 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, creating an entirely new interpretation to present to a music-loving, Bowie-loving populace. I didn’t know much about this album beyond Bowie’s awesome fashion that got associated with it. I was pleased to see lots of Ziggy’d-out getups on this Friday night—lots of glitter, sequins, shiny leotards, and makeup—on women and men alike.

The first really memorable, really ZIGGY performance was “Moonage Daydream” by Aubrey Debauchery & The Broken Bones. Aubrey was wearing an awesome red-orange leotard and tights, along with cool hair and facepaint. Alex Coffin and Gavin Fitzgerald in the rhythm section were rocking their man-boobs and some terrible-yet-amazing makeup. They tore into the song with remarkable gusto; Aubrey especially brought the passion and the moves that I imagine made Ziggy such a timeless character.

The one flaw in this fun, strange night was the need for constant set changes. In between every three-to-five minute song was a three-to-five minute period of relative silence, while one band switched its gear out to make room for the next one. Any energy gained from one performance was totally lost before the next began.

The greatest performances were consistently from the people who put the event on—that rotating, multitalented group of musicians who collectively form Aubrey Debauchery & The Broken Bones, Bogg, and Pageant Dads. No dramatic changes were made in their chosen songs, but they were much more comfortable, passionate, and at home than their peers. Matthew Weiner’s violin solos, and Gavin and Alex’s horrible makeup stand out the most in my memory.

The LoLos had the honor of performing the centerpiece of the album, the classic “Ziggy Stardust.” After a short space pretending they’d turned it into a bossanova song, they exploded full-force into the opening lick, and got everyone dancing (finally!). Drummer Kenzie Warner’s great snare tone and singer Matt Heyden’s sequined bird-vest-thing both let the audience know we were at a legit rock show.

The big surprise of the show came as Pageant Dads were going onstage to perform the finale, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.” What looked like a shimmering, blue-green portal opened up in the ceiling, and DAVID BOWIE HIMSELF was lowered by ropes into the room! He was wearing only a subdued gray suit and tie, but no one cared. The whole room got on their feet to scream and clap along with Bowie as he sung the last song for us. As the last note faded away, the audience rushed the stage, but the beloved rockstar had already dissipated in a soft explosion that dusted everyone nearby with orange glitter.

Howl was born in the wastes north of Hithlum, where only beasts and witches dare roam. He was raised by two old hags, Tabby and Wiles, who had an unhealthy fascination towards the literary arts. Howl now resides in a well-furnished cave off South Rim Trail, complete with an old iBook and Wi-Fi.