Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
David Bowie, the rock and movie star, gave an appropriately unusual performance at the Capital Centre Thursday. Included were rather ordinary, though high - powered rock 'n' roll, a dose of somewhat experimental concrete music, a few strains of Kurt Weill's bare - bones lyricism and stage lighting ranging from science - fictionally glaring to fluorescently sublime.
For the first half of his two - hour show, Bowie drew largely from the avant - gardish musique concrete material of his two most recent albums - music that is largely without lyrical content, relying heaily on unchageing chord patterns that repeated just this side of tedium.
It's a style of serious endeavor that has been pioneered by classical composers, although its volume and lack of instrumental subtlety Thursday made the concrete aspect more impressive than the music.
Still, one must admire Bowie for attempting to broaden the musical perimeters of rock concerts, although in the process he may have managed to cut his audience in half.
Two years ago - with the sort of spirited rock 'n' roll that composed most of Thursday's show's second half - Bowie filled the Capital Centre. After two albums of his new - style music ( and eerie performance in the obstruse science-fiction film called "The Man Who Fell to Earth") Bowie attracted merely half a house Thursday night. In the highly commercial world of rock, that may be the price of deviance from the top - 40 norm.