Live: Cobo Hall, Detroit

David Bowie performed at Detroit’s Cobo Hall on 21 April 1978, as part of the Isolar II Tour.

It was the second of two consecutive nights at the venue. Bowie had previously performed there on 23 June 1974, during the Diamond Dogs Tour.

The security guards were unusually heavy-handed during the performance, and beat up some fans who came to the front of the stage during the second half. Bowie stopped the performance during ‘Ziggy Stardust’, telling a guard: “”You! No! That is not necessary! Too many fucking people have been fucking hurt in places like this. Don’t do it. We’re not playing or singing no more, man, unless it’s enjoyable.”

The song was restarted, but it quickly faltered, and Carlos Alomar instead struck up the opening notes of ‘Suffragette City’.

That night we did another exciting show, this time with no trouble, then Carlos and I met up with the girls and went to a bar with original ’30s decor just like classic Hollywood. Sitting around the place like extras from a sci-fi film were Detroit’s punks in all their spiky splendour.
Sean Mayes
Life On Tour With Bowie

The setlist

Last updated: 19 May 2023
Live: Cobo Hall, Detroit
Live: Civic Centre, Ottawa
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