On May 7, 2016 I decided I’d like to go see a show that night and checking the local listings, I found out that Space Oddity: David Brighton’s Tribute to David Bowie would be playing at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, CA. Opening for him was The Cars tribute band, Candy-O, and I thought this combination sounded like it would make for a fun night. Think what you will about tribute bands, I’ve found them to be generally enjoyable, and the longer they’ve been around, the better they usually are, and that night was no exception.
I arrived about ten minutes before Candy-O took the stage. Candy-O hails from Southern California and have been paying tribute to The Cars for 15 years. They were consummate musicians and it was exciting to be able to hear the music of The Cars live. The band played through a bunch of the songs you would expect to hear and included a couple I didn’t know at all. They closed with my favorite, “Just What I Needed,” so I was happy I caught their act.
If you are a Bowie fan and like to hear his songs live, in the style in which you are most familiar with them (from the albums), then I highly recommend David Brighton and his band. They really do the music justice. Brighton inhabits the character of Bowie so thoroughly, never for a second dropping out of the Bowie (or Ziggy or Thin White Duke, etc.) persona. He’s got the costumes, the look, the moves, and the voice. He clearly loves to perform these songs. Having never seen Bowie himself in concert, I can’t compare directly with the legendary man, but I was especially touched by the warm, charming personality that radiates from Brighton’s Bowie. Go see this man perform!
His accompanying band were pretty fantastic too. How cool to have these two guys in your band, Paul Nelson and Switch, who can both take on lead guitar and play those fantastic riffs and solos we all recognize. Their skills stood out for me and I was doubly impressed.
I didn’t note the set list down song for song during the show, but I was able to grab photos of the printed list. They played all of the songs in larger bold and not those that are in parentheses (though they did play “Get It On“). The band stuck pretty close to this order as well, with a few songs in a slightly different order. Highlights for me included “Moonage Daydream,” “Changes,” (borrowed the lyric from this song for this post’s title) “Life on Mars,” (of course, my favorite Bowie tune) and “Under Pressure.” Check out the band’s promo reel for a glimpse of what the live performance is like.