Live: Hurricane Festival, Scheeßel

David Bowie performed at the Hurricane Festival at the Eichenring in Scheeßel, Germany, on 25 June 2004, as part of A Reality Tour.

It was the 112th and final date of the tour, which began on 7 October in Copenhagen.

Earl Slick and Gerry Leonard played guitar, Gail Ann Dorsey was on bass guitar and vocals, and Mike Garson played keyboards and piano. Sterling Campbell was on drums, and Catherine Russell played keyboards, percussion, guitar and sang backing vocals.

This was Bowie’s final full show. He was suffering from chest pains during the set, and afterwards was hospitalised with an acutely blocked artery. The following day he underwent an emergency angioplasty procedure to unblock an artery.

It was very unsettling. Very unsettling. As his pianist I had some sort of a kinetic, or telepathic, tactile, connection to him. I could feel something wrong in my fingers as I was accompanying him that night. I’m looking at him during the show and I sensed pain. In a way that was the beginning of the end, because that’s when he had his heart attack. In that moment nobody realised that was what it was. But somehow we managed to finish the show and then he went to the hospital. Even though he healed from that, it seemed to go downhill from that point, on a physical level. It was gonna be a rough ten years following, healthwise.
Mike Garson
The Mouth magazine

Two days earlier, on stage in Prague, Bowie had suffered a heart attack. It had been misdiagnosed as a pinched nerve, and although that show was ended early, the tour was scheduled to continue.

According to Gail Ann Dorsey, Bowie collapsed as he left the stage after the final song in Scheeßel. The remaining dates of A Reality Tour were cancelled on 30 June.

Afterwards we were holed up at a hotel and somebody said, ‘We’re going home, taking a break.’ It was a huge disappointment. Everybody felt like David was at the top of his game.

I’ve seen some footage from it and it feels like a very relaxed show. It feels almost like we were in the rehearsal room. I don’t remember him being in pain, but it was more of a mellow show. I didn’t really see him afterwards. I think he took some painkillers and got through the show, but he was exhausted afterwards. Then, obviously, they did some more tests and found the real culprit, which was a blocked artery. They put the stint in and that was it.

Gerry Leonard
Rolling Stone, 20 February 2013

The setlist

Well, it seems the trapped nerve that plagued David in Prague appeared to be defeated for Friday’s Hurricane Festival appearance in Scheeßel, Germany. Of course, we now know that it wasn’t. But, if David was suffering on the day at all, he certainly didn’t show it, indeed both Susans and Nemesis report that he was perhaps even more chatty and jovial than ever.

The festival name was apparently appropriate as the weather was grim once again. David was forced to don another hooded top, this time charcoal grey as opposed to canary yellow. Anyway, you can view the setlist after the short visual diversion below., 27 June 2004

It is with much regret that we have to announce another cancellation due to David’s continued condition. The situation is reviewed daily and David’s doctor has decided that the performance at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark on Friday can not now go ahead.

We are obviously very sorry for any hardship caused to those of you that had already arranged travel, etc., and while we understand your disappointment, it’s clear from your sympathetic messages that you do understand it would be self-defeating for David to perform again before he is 100% fit.

We are also sorry to have to report that, being a festival show, refunds for this cancellation will not be available.

We will continue to give you news of any further developments as we get them., 28 June 2004

Due to the continuing pain and extreme discomfort from a trapped/pinched nerve in his shoulder and to prevent possible further injury, David Bowie has been advised by his doctors to cancel his performances at the eleven remaining European dates throughout July.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the condition and in an effort to give fans as much warning as possible, (and indeed, to aid promoters in finding a replacement headliner in time for the festival dates) David very reluctantly agreed to take the advice.

David, and everybody involved with the tour, is very sorry for the hardship that this difficult decision may have caused. We realise that many of you will have lost money on non-refundable travel and festival tickets.

But, anybody that knows David will understand that he doesn’t take these decisions lightly and I’m sure you all realise how bad he will be feeling about not being able to complete the tour.

As I have said previously, thank you all for your kind words on the message boards and for your continued understanding that had there been an alternative to this course of action, it would have been taken., 30 June 2004

Cancelled tour dates

  • 6 May 2004: James L Knight Center, Miami, USA
  • 26 June 2004: Southside Festival, Tuttlingen, Germany
  • 29 June 2004: Schloss Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria
  • 30 June 2004: Residenzplatz, Salzburg, Austria
  • 2 July 2004: Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark
  • 4 July 2004: Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium
  • 6 July 2004: Festival de la Gaou, Île du Gaou, France
  • 7 July 2004: Festival de la Cite, Carcassonne, France
  • 10 July 2004: T in the Park, Kinross, Scotland
  • 11 July 2004: Oxegen Festival, County Kildare, Ireland
  • 14 July 2004: Bilbao Festival, Bilbao, Spain
  • 16 July 2004: Xacobeo Festival, Compostela, Spain
  • 17 July 2004: The Dragon Festival, Oporto, Portugal
  • 20 July 2004: Paléo Festival Nyon, Nyon, Switzerland
  • 21 July 2004: Club du Sporting, Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • 23 July 2004: Vieilles Charrues Festival, Carhaix, France
Last updated: 4 December 2023
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