David Bowie performed at Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle on 16 May 1978, as part of the Isolar II Tour.
It was the 34th 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.
The Deutschlandhalle was a great cast-iron hangar of a place holding 12,000 but I felt a strange elation to be playing in Berlin.
The gig was pretty controlled, people mostly in their seats, but one young guy was getting excited, jumping about in front of the stage. Near him in the front row was a curious figure like something from a comic opera – middle-aged with blond or white hair, a waxed moustache and neat beard, military looking in a Ruritanian way. I think he was even wearing lederhosen. I don’t know who he was, but at a sign from him a couple of bouncers knocked the kid about and started to drag him off. David saw this and waved them away but they took no notice. He shouted ‘No!’ but still they continued, so he stopped the music.
There was an awful silence which surely no one could ignore, but the bouncers carried on and the military men seemed to think this was all part of the show. David ran to the front of the stage just about them. ‘NO! NEIN! STOP!’
They gazed up at him, suddenly aware they were the focus of attention, then released the youth. David leaned down and shook hands with him – the place cheered. And so, on with the show.
Life On Tour With Bowie
Part of the show was released on the 2018 live album Live In Berlin (1978).
Bowie had previously performed at the Deutschlandhalle on 10 April 1976 during the Isolar Tour. He returned to there on 8 April 1990 for the Sound+Vision Tour, and 1 February 1996 during the Outside Tour. The venue was demolished in December 2011.
- ‘What In The World’
- ‘Be My Wife’
- ‘The Jean Genie’
- ‘Sense Of Doubt’
- ‘Speed Of Life’
- ‘Breaking Glass’
- ‘Beauty And The Beast’
- ‘Five Years’
- ‘Soul Love’
- ‘Hang On To Yourself’
- ‘Ziggy Stardust’
- ‘Suffragette City’
- ‘Art Decade’
- ‘Alabama Song’
- ‘Station To Station’
- ‘Rebel Rebel’
- ‘Station To Station’
Also on this day...
- 1990: Live: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
- 1983: Rehearsal: Forest National, Brussels
- 1973: Live: Music Hall, Aberdeen
- 1972: Radio: Sounds Of The 70s
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.