Live: NHK Hall, Tokyo

David Bowie performed at the NHK Hall in Tokyo, Japan, on 12 December 1978, as part of the Isolar II Tour.

It was the 79th and final 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 was the final night of the world tour. NHK Hall was the largest of our gigs in Japan and the show was being filmed for television. Our sound-check and run-through lasted most of the afternoon…

Back-stage everyone seemed down – only Dennis cheered us up, pulling on an ape-head mask. Then he hid it till he was on-stage so he could give David a surprise when he turned round.

So we went on and the show began. With each BOOM! of ‘Warszawa’ I felt more down, and it seemed everyone felt that way too. With each song we played I just thought, ‘I’ll never play this again.’

Next was ‘What In The World’, then ‘Be My Wife’. Then we came to ‘Jean Genie’ and something was triggered, the adrenalin flooded through me – I’m in Tokyo on-stage with David Bowie playing ‘Jean Genie’, here and now, once and for all! This spark seemed to flash through the whole group, and from that moment the show took off and became a stormer, one fo the best of the whole tour, all the higher for starting low.

Sean Mayes
Life On Tour With Bowie

Bowie returned to the NHK Hall on 5 and 6 February 1992 for Tin Machine’s It’s My Life Tour.

The setlist

Last updated: 19 October 2023
Live: Nippon Budokan, Tokyo
Single release: Boys Keep Swinging
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