Live: Madison Square Garden, New York

David Bowie performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 9 May 1978, as part of the Isolar Tour. It was the last of three consecutive nights at the venue.

It was the 31st 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.

This time we didn’t see the elephants but a monkey on roller skates came to visit us in the dressing-rooms. Far less disconcerting was Brian Eno, a lovely man, who came in and chatted diffidently. I took a photo of him with Roger while they eagerly discussed the different ways in which Brian had created the sounds on Low and “Heroes and Roger recreated them on-stage.

We played an exuberant bitter-sweet gig, blowing farewell to America.

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: Madison Square Garden, New York
Live: Festhalle, Frankfurt
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