tragic passing of David Bowie
on January 10, many throughout the world found themselves in a state of mourning, myself included. I will never forget waking up, checking my phone, and immediately being jolted with sorrow after realizing the news was true. A few days prior, I had celebrated the release of Bowie’s latest album, Blackstar.
Monday, we all learned that the album was actually intended to be a send-off, as Bowie knew he was nearing his final days of life.
Like me, drummer Melanie Rau and singer/guitarist Adam Gross of S.M. Wolf
were in mourning, too. Instead of letting it bring them down, though, they chose to immediately begin gathering local musicians together to honor the Thin White Duke. Not surprisingly, they found a great deal of support right off the bat, too. “As musicians the only option that gave us some comfort was to bring everyone together to play his songs, to sing together and to remember the person who paved the way for so many of us,” Rau told me in a Musical Family Tree interview prior to the show. “In a quick amount of time, the event was born.” But even after assembling a rather large lineup of performers to play in merely four days, Rau and Gross most certainly could not have expected how magical Friday night’s tribute would be.
Upon arriving at State Street Pub at 8:30 p.m. sharp,
I was swallowed into a soon-to-be at-capacity crowd of Bowie lovers, young and old, who would sing their hearts out alongside me throughout the night. On stage, the overarching spirit was one of glittery bliss, whether it was Andrew Malott and Bryan Unruh (of Scanlines) doing their version of “Space Oddity” or Jared Birden (formerly of Teenage Strange) and company raging through “Suffragette City.” Appropriately, this communal celebration ended with one final group singalong of “Under Pressure,” leaving everyone smiling as they headed home. So although he may had moved on from his earthly body just days before, one thing was certainly made clear to me by the end of this night: the Starman was still alive and well in the hearts of his fans.
If you want more Bowie: Celebrate Bowie at Punk Rock night at the Melody Inn this Saturday. Goblin King will play songs from the Labryinth soundtrack in full costume.