Live: Madison Square Garden, New York

David Bowie performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 7 May 1978, as part of the Isolar Tour. It was the first of three consecutive nights at the venue.

It was the 29th date of the tour, which began on 29 March in San Diego.

Bowie’s guitarists were Carlos Alomar and Adrian Belew. Simon House was on electric violin, Sean Mayes played piano, and Roger Powell was on keyboards and synthesizers. George Murray played bass guitar and Dennis Davis was on drums.

I walked through the vast volume of the stadium. I had expected some kind of concert hall, but in a funny way I was disappointed. I had expected some kind of concert hall, not another sport stadium. There is something about a theatre that I find more exciting than any stadium, however big. Still, this was New York, this was the Garden, and I was excited.

Back in the dressing-rooms, Adrian was terrified. ‘Bob Fripp will be out there… Earl Slick may be coming…’ Everyone was uneasy at the reputation of the place and the people coming but in my innocence I felt very relaxed. I didn’t know what piano players might be out front so I wasn’t going to start worrying. I just thought, This is New York and I’m going to have a ball!

Sean Mayes
Life On Tour With Bowie

Bowie had first performed at Madison Square Garden on 19 and 20 July 1974, during the Diamond Dogs Tour, and returned on 26 March 1976 for the Isolar Tour.

He played another three dates there at Madison Square Garden during the Serious Moonlight Tour, on 25, 26, and 27 July 1983.

The Glass Spider Tour saw a further two concerts at the venue, on 1 and 2 September 1987, and on 9 January 1997 a special 50th birthday celebratory concert took place, with Bowie sharing the stage with Foo Fighters, The Cure’s Robert Smith, Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Pixies’ Frank Black, Sonic Youth, and Lou Reed.

Bowie’s final show at the venue was on 15 December 2003 during A Reality Tour.

The setlist

Last updated: 23 November 2023
Live: Boston Garden, Boston
Live: Madison Square Garden, New York
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