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A Reality Tour was a worldwide concert tour by David Bowie in support of the Reality album. The tour commenced on 7 October 2003 at the Forummarker, Copenhagenmarker, Denmarkmarker continuing through Europe, North America, Asia, including a return to New Zealandmarker and Australia for the first time since the 1987 Glass Spider Tour.

Originally scheduled to play in 24 countries over a ten-month period, the tour was curtailed after the Hurricane Festivalmarker performance in Scheeßelmarker, Germanymarker on 25 June 2004, as a result of Bowie being diagnosed with an acutely blocked artery that required a angioplasty procedure. The previous performance at the T-Mobile Arenamarker, Praguemarker, Czech Republicmarker on 23 June 2004 had been interrupted as Bowie was forced to leave the stage believing he was suffering from a trapped nerve in his left shoulder. A previous incident in Oslomarker on 18 June 2004 saw Bowie being struck in the left eye with a lollipop thrown by a member of the audience. On 6 May 2004, a performance at the James L.marker Knight Centermarker, Miami, FLmarker was cancelled after a lighting technician fell to his death prior to Bowie going onstage.


Bowie promoted this tour with appearances on primetime television shows such as The Tonight Show and on AOL Sessions.

A DVD video of the Point Theatremarker, Dublinmarker performances of 2003 was released as A Reality Tour in 2004.


Bowie sought to perform in the format of a stadium concert with less focus on elaborate staging and more focus on the musicians in his band. The stage featured a number of platforms, some extending into the audience, as well as multiple video-screens projecting artistic images and live footage of the concert along with many colored lights for effects. The stage was typically placed at one end of the stadium or Arena with seating in the stands or on the field itself with a back-stage area on the far side of the stage.

The musicians were dressed in casual but colorful outfits; nearly each musician had a set of outfits in different colors, such as Bowie's cut-off shirt and kneckerchief or Gail Ann Dorsey's dress. Musicians were free to move about the stage as their instruments permitted with wireless amplification, though Bowie and Dorsey interacted most often as part of the acts.

Each concert began with an introduction on the main video-screen, during which the band would enter the stage and prepare the opening number. After the opener, Bowie would greet the audience with the flexible line, "Hello, [city name], you crazy bunch of motherfuckers" as a sign of welcoming. The performances, between the somewhat staged pieces, were informal often with a dialog between Bowie and his audience, jokes, band introductions, and the occasional "Happy Birthday To You".


The set list included tracks spanning Bowie's 30 plus years in the music business, from The Man Who Sold the World (1970) all the way to Reality (2003), along with collaborations such as Sister Midnight (with Iggy Pop) and "Under Pressure" (with Queen), and snippets and teasers of Bowie classics such as "Space Oddity" and "Golden Years". There is a bit more focus, however, on tracks from the albums released since the Earthling World Tour in 1997, Heathen (2002), and Reality.

The only exception from his latest albums is 'hours...' (1999); no tracks from this album were included, possibly due to poor reception of the album. Other albums with no appearance included Space Oddity (1969), the cover album Pin Ups (1973), the ill-received Never Let Me Down (1987), the albums produced with the band Tin Machine, and Black Tie White Noise (1993).

A notable inclusion into the tour were the tracks from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, usually performed as the final encores. "Ziggy Stardust" was nearly always the finale of each concert.

The inclusion of tracks from Let's Dance and Tonight was also notable, considering a fan tendency to reject the albums as "too commercial", seeing the return of the singles "Modern Love", "Blue Jean", "Lets Dance""China Girl", and a semi-acoustic version of "Loving the Alien".

The interpretations presented often a heavier and more complex sound than those of the album releases to suit the band for which the Reality album had been written; a more dynamic "Rebel Rebel" which later saw a release as a bonus track was arranged as an opener which included notably some audience participation, though on a few occasions "New Killer Star" or "The Jean Genie" were played first. Use of audience vocals appear in a number of songs, most notably in interpretations of "China Girl", in which Bowie first invited the audience to sing on their own, only to inevitably fail, and then restarted the song singing it on his own. The process occurred somewhat vice-versa during performances of "All the Young Dudes", in which Bowie's voice was somewhat out of range to sing the chorus.

Tour Band

Tour Dates

Warm-up Show

Satellite Show

Live performance beamed via satellite to cinemas and theatres across Europe and due to time delay the following day across Asia, Japanmarker, Australia. North America and South America.


North America


North America

New Zealand



North America



From Space Oddity
  • "Space Oddity"
From The Man Who Sold the World
  • "The Man Who Sold the World"
  • "The Supermen"
From Hunky Dory
  • "Changes"
  • "Life on Mars?"
  • "Quicksand"
  • "The Bewlay Brothers"
  • "Queen Bitch"
From The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  • "Five Years"
  • "Starman"
  • "Hang on to Yourself"
  • "Ziggy Stardust"
  • "Suffragette City"
From Aladdin Sane
  • "Panic in Detroit"
  • "The Jean Genie"
From Diamond Dogs
  • "Diamond Dogs"
  • "Rebel Rebel"
From Young Americans From Station to Station
  • "Station to Station"
  • "Golden Years"
From Low
  • "Breaking Glass" (Bowie, Dennis Davis, George Murray)
  • "Sound and Vision"
  • "Always Crashing in the Same Car"
  • "Be My Wife"
  • "A New Career in a New Town"
From "Heroes" From Lodger
  • "Fantastic Voyage" (Bowie, Eno)
From Scary Monsters
  • "Ashes to Ashes"
  • "Fashion"
From Let's Dance
  • "Modern Love"
  • "China Girl" (originally from The Idiot by Iggy Pop, written by Pop and Bowie)
  • "Let's Dance"
From Tonight
  • "Loving the Alien"
  • "Blue Jean"
From Outside
  • "Hallo Spaceboy" (Bowie, Eno)
  • "The Motel" (Bowie, Eno)
From Earthling From Heathen From Reality
  • "New Killer Star"
  • "Pablo Picasso"
  • "Never Get Old"
  • "The Loneliest Guy"
  • "Looking for Water"
  • "She'll Drive the Big Car"
  • "Days"
  • "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon"
  • "Try Some, Buy Some"
  • "Reality"
  • "Bring Me the Disco King"
Other songs:



  • Nicholas Pegg, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2004, ISBN 1-903111-73-0

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