The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
Brisbane Powerhouse & Queensland Cabaret Festival
Brisbane Powerhouse Performance Space
June 4 2016
Reviewed by Katy Cotter
Electric Moon’s spectacular show returned to the Brisbane Powerhouse for one night only as a part of Queensland Cabaret Festival, honouring the late and amazing David Bowie, and playing one of his greatest albums in its entirety. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was Bowie’s fifth studio album released in 1972, a concept album telling the story of a fictional rock star named Ziggy Stardust.
The atmosphere in the Powerhouse Theatre was electric and I was sitting next to hardcore Bowie fans. A young girl had the iconic lightning bolt painted boldly across her face and she was talking excitedly to her mother about her favourite songs. Tickets were hard to grab a hold of, and no wonder. After Bowie’s tragic death back in January, this show’s popularity and importance has obviously grown dramatically. I could sense a unity within the room, that this incredible musician had changed lives. People had come from all over to celebrate the man as well as the music and they were certainly not disappointed.
There is no denying the album is ‘far out there’ great with each song being a hit, but the performance was just supreme. The cast included 20 of Brisbane’s finest musicians. The eight lead vocals honestly blew me away, each embodying their own creation of Bowie’s songs. Lucinda Shaw was magnificent and dangerous as she took the stage first to sing Five Years. I thought to myself, “Can it get better than this? This woman is a freaking powerhouse at the Powerhouse!” It certainly did get better; the wind was knocked out of every audience member as the stunningly beautiful Emma Dean sang a soft and eerie version of Starman. Now there was one performer, Maria DeVita who seemed of a different breed. She was absolutely wild, stomping across the stage like a punk chic goddess while singing Hang on to Yourself. She almost made me want to start a mosh pit. Lastly, I have to mention my favourite was Daniel Hack. I hung on every word as he reached out to the audience, taking us along for the ride to outer space. His vocals were incredible and if I closed my eyes, there were moments I could swear Bowie was singing.
The show clearly would not go on without the 12 amazing musicians playing guitars, piano, strings, percussion, the list goes on! Where many are fixed on the singer, my eye tends to wander. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the beautiful lady on piano but she was the personification of joy. As her fingers danced across the ivory keys, her smile grew wider and I just wanted to run up and sit next to her. What a talent! My grandmother would have killed to have a piano-off with this woman. Is that even possible?
If these guys return, buy a ticket. You’ll leave feeling all the emotions, but all of David Bowie’s music seems to have that effect. I actually wanted to sneak back in and see the late show. I can’t imagine how exhausted and elated the cast must feel after two back-to-back shows. They are all simply terrific, and this show is a great night out. Vale Bowie.