Detailed Pedia

Earthling Tour

Earthling Tour
Tour by David Bowie
David Bowie 1997.jpg
Bowie performing at the Ruisrock festival in Finland
Associated albumEarthling
Start date7 June 1997
End date7 November 1997
No. of shows83
David Bowie concert chronology

The Earthling Tour was a concert tour by British musician David Bowie, in promotion of his album Earthling, released in 1997, The tour started on 7 June 1997 at Flughafen Blankensee in Lübeck, Germany, continuing through Europe, North America before reaching a conclusion in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7 November 1997.


Bowie first publicly performed Earthling material in late 1996, playing "Telling Lies" and sometimes "Little Wonder" at shows on the US East Coast in September and October. On 9 January 1997, he hosted a concert at Madison Square Garden for his 50th birthday. A month later, Earthling was released and Bowie promoted it with appearances on Saturday Night Live (8 February) and The Tonight Show (11 February), followed by a Pay-Per-View broadcast of the birthday concert on 8 March.[1]

Bowie and his band began rehearsing for the tour in April 1997, and expected the tour to last "from May through Christmas" (1997). Bowie predicted a "really extensive, a long, long tour".[2] During rehearsals for the tour, Bowie re-recorded updated versions of some of his older songs, including "The Man Who Sold the World" and "Stay". These updated versions were performed during the tour, though the latter wouldn't be officially released until 2020 as part of the EP Is It Any Wonder?[3]

The original concept was to perform two sets: one regular and one dance-oriented, incorporating drum and bass.[4] This idea was abandoned, owing to the antipathy of critics and audiences.[5] After the performance at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht, on 11 June 1997, elements of each were incorporated into one set.

"He hated playing things just like the record," recalled guitarist Reeves Gabrels. "He wanted me to dress songs up in the clothes we're wearing now."[6]

The 14 October 1997 show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York – broadcast on MTV's Live from the 10 Spot – was added at short notice due to cancellation by The Rolling Stones. The following show on 15 October 1997 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York was part of the GQ Awards.

The setlist included Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" (from Big Science (1982)) with lead vocals by Gail Ann Dorsey.

Tour publicist Tony Michaelides handled press, radio & television for Bowie.

A live album from the European leg of the tour made it to the mixing stage- Bowie, Gabrels and Mark Plati were all involved- but Virgin, the band's label, cancelled the release.[5] The release was eventually made available, albeit with a different track listing than originally envisioned, to BowieNet subscribers as the release, which was re-released in 2021.[5]

Tao Jones Index

Bowie and the band performed a small number of "secret" shows under the name "Tao Jones Index", deliberately playing without people knowing who they were.[7] "Tao Jones Index" was a pun based on Bowie's real name, David Jones, and the 1997 Bowie Bond issue (Tao is pronounced "Dow", as in Dow Jones Index from the US stock market).[8] According to Gabrels, drummer Zachary Alford likely came up with the name,[9] and they only played as Tao Jones Index "a half dozen [times] or fewer", eventually wearying of the project as fans began to recognize Bowie and call out for him to play his hits.[10] The sets were, according to Gabrels, less strictly drum and bass so much as "dance remixes": "We were inspired by the various remixes of Earthling songs to reclaim & remake them as a live band."[11] The band played their normal instruments, but without amplifiers, and Alford played electronic drums.[12] There was only one official release from any of the Tao Jones Index's performances: a 12" single of "Pallas Athena" and "V-2 Schneider" (1997).[13]

One live performance was 10 June 1997, from which the live versions of "Pallas Athena" and "V2-Schneider" were recorded; another live performance was on 19 July 1997 Phoenix Festival; their performance in the BBC Radio 1 dance tent preceded the regular performance on the main stage the following day.


This performance is from the Radio City Music Hall, New York City, United States show at 15 October 1997.

  1. "Always Crashing in the Same Car"
  2. "Panic in Detroit"
  3. "I'm Waiting for the Man"
  4. "My Death"
  5. "The Jean Genie"
  6. "I'm Afraid of Americans"
  7. "Seven Years in Tibet"
  8. "Looking for Satellites"
  9. "Under Pressure"
  10. "Fashion"
  11. "The Man Who Sold the World"
  12. "Battle for Britain (The Letter)"
  13. "Stay"
  14. "Little Wonder"


  1. "Hallo Spaceboy"
  2. "Moonage Daydream"

Tour band

Tour dates

Date City Country Venue
Warm-up shows
17 May 1997 Dublin Ireland The Factory Studios
2 June 1997 London England Hanover Grand [15]
3 June 1997
5 June 1997 Hamburg Germany Große Freiheit
7 June 1997 Lübeck Germany Flughafen Blankensee
8 June 1997 Offenbach am Main Bieberer Berg Stadion
10 June 1997 Amsterdam Netherlands Paradiso
11 June 1997 Utrecht Muziekcentrum Vredenburg
13 June 1997 Essen Germany (Cancelled) Essen Stadium
Dortmund Westfalenhalle
14 June 1997 Paris France Parc des Princes
16 June 1997 Rezé La Trocardiére
17 June 1997 Bordeaux La Médoquine
19 June 1997 Clermont-Ferrand Maison des Sports
21 June 1997 Leipzig Germany Go Bang Festival
22 June 1997 Munich
24 June 1997 Vienna Austria Sommer Arena [16]
25 June 1997 Prague Czech Republic Congress Centre
28 June 1997 Oslo Norway Kalvoeya Festival
29 June 1997 Turku Finland Ruisrock Festival
1 July 1997 Zagreb Croatia Dom Sportova
2 July 1997 Pistoia Italy Piazza del Duomo
4 July 1997 Torhout Belgium Torhout Festival
5 July 1997 Werchter Werchter Festival
6 July 1997 Ringe Denmark Midtfyns Festival
8 July 1997 Brescia Italy Stadio Mario Rigamonti
10 July 1997 Napoli Neapolis Festival
11 July 1997 Arbatax Rocce Rosse Festival
13 July 1997 Frauenfeld Switzerland Out in the Green
15 July 1997 Madrid Spain (Cancelled) Las Ventas
Aqua Lung
16 July 1997 Zaragoza Pabellón Príncipe Felipe
17 July 1997 San Sebastián Velodromo De Anoeta
19 July 1997 Stratford upon Avon England Phoenix Festival
Long Marston Airfield
(billed as Tao Jones Index)
20 July 1997
22 July 1997 Glasgow Scotland Barrowlands
23 July 1997 Manchester England Manchester Academy
25 July 1997 Malmö Sweden Mölleplatsen
26 July 1997 Stockholm Lollipop Festival
27 July 1997 Gdańsk Poland (Cancelled) Stadion Lechii
29 July 1997 Lyon France Fourvière
30 July 1997 Juan-les-Pins Pinede Gould
1 August 1997 Birmingham England Que Club
2 August 1997 Liverpool Royal Court
3 August 1997 Newcastle upon Tyne Riverside
5 August 1997 Nottingham Rock City
6 August 1997 Leeds Town & Country Club
8 August 1997 Dublin Ireland Olympia Theatre
9 August 1997
11 August 1997 London England Shepherd's Bush Empire
12 August 1997
14 August 1997 Budapest Hungary Student Island Fest
North America
6 September 1997 Vancouver Canada Plaza of Nations
7 September 1997 Seattle United States Paramount Theater
9 September 1997 San Francisco The Warfield
10 September 1997 Los Angeles Hollywood Athletic Club
12 September 1997 Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre
13 September 1997
15 September 1997 San Francisco The Warfield
16 September 1997
19 September 1997 Chicago The Vic Theater
21 September 1997 Detroit State Theatre
22 September 1997
24 September 1997 Montreal Canada Metropolis
25 September 1997
27 September 1997 Toronto Warehouse [17][18]
28 September 1997
30 September 1997 Boston United States Orpheum Theatre [19]
1 October 1997
3 October 1997 Philadelphia Electric Factory
4 October 1997
7 October 1997 Fort Lauderdale Chili Pepper
8 October 1997
10 October 1997 Atlanta International Ballroom
12 October 1997 Washington, D.C. The Capitol Ballroom
13 October 1997 New York City The Supper Club
14 October 1997 Port Chester Capitol Theatre (MTV 10-Spot)
15 October 1997 New York City Radio City Music Hall (GQ Awards)
17 October 1997 Chicago Aragon Ballroom
18 October 1997 Saint Paul Roy Wilkins Auditorium
23 October 1997 Mexico City Mexico Foro Sol
South America
31 October 1997 Curitiba Brazil Paulo Leminski Concert and Entertainment Hall
1 November 1997 São Paulo Ibirapuera Arena
2 November 1997 Rio de Janeiro Citibank Hall
5 November 1997 Santiago Chile Estadio Nacional de Chile
7 November 1997 Buenos Aires Argentina Estadio Arquitecto Ricardo Etcheverri



  1. ^ David Bowie Launches New Album 'earthling' With Network Television Appearances, A Pay-per-view Concert, A National Radio Broadcast, And Star On Hollywood Blvd's Walk Of Fame, 30 January 1997, archived from the original on 9 January 2014, retrieved 5 July 2013
  2. ^ Laban, Linda (13 February 1997), "Bowie Hits a Fab 50", The Seattle Times: E3
  3. ^ "David Bowie Is it Any Wonder? Streaming EP of unreleased & rare material". 14 February 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  4. ^ "David Bowie: The FI Interview" by J.D. Considine, Fi magazine, October 1997, pp 36-41
  5. ^ a b c Nicholas Pegg, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2004, ISBN 1-903111-73-0
  6. ^ DeMain, Bill (April 2018). "Reeves Gabrels talks about David Bowie". Classic Rock. No. 247. p. 58.
  7. ^ @reevesgabrels (4 October 2020). "Did you know that David Bowie had a secret live drum and bass project?!" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Pallas Athena 1997 version". Archived from the original on 27 February 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  9. ^ @reevesgabrels (4 October 2020). "That special gig in Dublin was a dress rehearsal for the Earthling tour itself" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ @turguin (4 October 2020). "How many times did you guys perform as the DJI?" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ @reevesgabrels (4 October 2020). "It wasn't drum and bass so much as dance remixes" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ @reevesgabrels (4 October 2020). "We played our instruments, but without amplifiers" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ @reevesgabrels (4 October 2020). "The only live recording of Tao Jones Index that was released is Pallas Athena and V2-Schneider" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Discogs – Zachary Alford – Profile & Discography
  15. ^ Discogs – Song & Dance – 1997 unOfficial 2CD, Dancing Horse (DH-017) Japan ~ Live at Hanover Grand Theatre, June 1997
  16. ^ Discogs – Live in Vienna Arena 1997 unOfficial 2CD, Phantom Private Records (WADB01/02) Germany ~ Live at Sommer Arena, Vienna, 24 June 1997
  17. ^ Discogs – The Chaos Girls – 1998 unOfficial 2CD, Montserrat Records (BRCD 2900/1) Germany
  18. ^ Discogs – Jungle Fever – 1998 unOfficial 2CD, Montserrat Records (BRCD 2902/03) Germany ~ the CFNY Studios, Toronto 1997-09-26th
  19. ^ Discogs – Adventures in Cyberspace – 1997 unOfficial 2CD, Dancing Horse (DH-020) ~ Boston's Orpheum Theatre, 1 October 1997 Cybercast


  • David Buckley, Strange Fascination: The Definitive Biography of David Bowie, Virgin Books, 1999, ISBN 1-85227-784-X

This page was last updated at 2021-01-21 09:54 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.