Why did Bowie tour with NIN? (Because They're Young)

Why did Bowie tour with NIN? (Because They're Young)

Joined: February 18th, 2006, 1:24 pm

May 5th, 2012, 11:40 am #1

In my continuing series of lectures, I would like to focus on Bowie's 1995 tour with NIN. To my knowledge, this is Bowie's first and only tour co-headlining with a major act. Why did Bowie do it?

I feel Bowie was trying to gain a younger audience. NIN was not of Bowie's rock generation, but much younger. Bowie wanted to gain a younger generation of fans. Perhaps he looked out at his own audience and saw mainly old people. Perhaps he did not want the younger fans to think of him as that "Let's Dance guy."

Bowie had an edge, a dark side. In fact he was one of the pioneers of weird, outside rock and roll. He wanted younger, more discriminating fans to realize this so he focused on the NIN audience. He toured the Outside album and put a display of maggots onstage.

There is a sad sidenote however, Many have reported that when Bowie took the stage after NIN's performance during this tour, much of the younger audience walked out. This is their statement. "You are not of us," the young rockers are saying. "You are my dad's band."

We can see that Bowie is always calculating, trying to market his brand. Nothing wrong with this. Nothing wrong with gaining new fans who don't realize how musical and exciting Bowie is. However, it must have been dismaying to see the cool fans walk out while the gray hairs remained to watch their star.
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Joined: August 26th, 2007, 11:29 am

May 5th, 2012, 11:42 am #2

i think he got over it by now

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Joined: January 17th, 2009, 6:29 pm

May 5th, 2012, 9:36 pm #3

If they walked out, they weren't cool.

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg
"Schtum!"
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Joined: March 6th, 2010, 9:13 pm

May 5th, 2012, 10:08 pm #4

Pretty cool that NIN have included IAOA in their set lists since and has become a bit of a concert favourite.

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Joined: January 15th, 2007, 11:40 am

May 5th, 2012, 10:23 pm #5

If they walked out, they weren't cool.

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg
"It must have been dismaying to see the cool fans walk out while the gray hairs remained to watch their star."

"Grey hairs"...?
Over the years, Bowie concerts have been a great advert for hair dye.
Morrissey fans walked out in their droves as well, and they weren't cool either.

.
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Joined: October 19th, 2004, 4:32 pm

May 6th, 2012, 12:31 am #6

Majority people walking out were "Bowie fans"!!!! NIN is the one of the greatest bands to come out in the last 30 years. I was so lucky to see them share the stage with Bowie.
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Joined: October 19th, 2004, 4:32 pm

May 6th, 2012, 12:35 am #7

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Joined: January 17th, 2009, 6:29 pm

May 6th, 2012, 3:19 pm #8

My sister attended one of the LA shows...I believe she said something about "hog heaven".

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg
"Schtum!"
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

May 6th, 2012, 6:04 pm #9

The NIN and Morrissey shows were part of the reason I never bothered with him in those days.
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Joined: October 19th, 2004, 4:32 pm

May 6th, 2012, 8:01 pm #10

"The NIN and Morrissey shows were part of the reason I never bothered with him in those days. "


Sucks to be you!!!!


I'm glad i went. Other wise i would have missed out some real gems like Teenage Wildlife, My Death, Joe the Lion, Andy Warhol!!

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Joined: October 31st, 2006, 5:16 pm

May 9th, 2012, 8:50 am #11

In my continuing series of lectures, I would like to focus on Bowie's 1995 tour with NIN. To my knowledge, this is Bowie's first and only tour co-headlining with a major act. Why did Bowie do it?

I feel Bowie was trying to gain a younger audience. NIN was not of Bowie's rock generation, but much younger. Bowie wanted to gain a younger generation of fans. Perhaps he looked out at his own audience and saw mainly old people. Perhaps he did not want the younger fans to think of him as that "Let's Dance guy."

Bowie had an edge, a dark side. In fact he was one of the pioneers of weird, outside rock and roll. He wanted younger, more discriminating fans to realize this so he focused on the NIN audience. He toured the Outside album and put a display of maggots onstage.

There is a sad sidenote however, Many have reported that when Bowie took the stage after NIN's performance during this tour, much of the younger audience walked out. This is their statement. "You are not of us," the young rockers are saying. "You are my dad's band."

We can see that Bowie is always calculating, trying to market his brand. Nothing wrong with this. Nothing wrong with gaining new fans who don't realize how musical and exciting Bowie is. However, it must have been dismaying to see the cool fans walk out while the gray hairs remained to watch their star.
Ofcourse its part of the branding. NIN wouldnt make sense as a support act for the Sound and Vision tour. I think touring with NIN made sense in the brand he was trying to create at the time, a more artistic Bowie and a less accessible one.
There are some Bowie books that go into this matter. I think "Hallo Spaceboy" and Mark Spitz book? Maybe "Loving the Alien" too. And on youtube there are some interviews with Bowie and Trent from 1995.

I'm not sure though it was just young fans leaving the concerts during Bowie's set. A lot of people were also expecting him to play more hits (including music critics). There's a bootleg called A Hyper Circle during the performance you can hear one Bowie fan complaining about him not playing "Young Americans"! He actually says something like "IF he's not playing Young Americans Im going to climb onstage and kick his ass". So im not sure it were just the grey hairs that remained.
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Joined: September 14th, 2007, 8:06 pm

May 9th, 2012, 8:58 am #12

"The NIN and Morrissey shows were part of the reason I never bothered with him in those days. "


Sucks to be you!!!!


I'm glad i went. Other wise i would have missed out some real gems like Teenage Wildlife, My Death, Joe the Lion, Andy Warhol!!
I'm ok thanks.
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Joined: June 14th, 2011, 8:15 pm

May 9th, 2012, 12:36 pm #13

Ofcourse its part of the branding. NIN wouldnt make sense as a support act for the Sound and Vision tour. I think touring with NIN made sense in the brand he was trying to create at the time, a more artistic Bowie and a less accessible one.
There are some Bowie books that go into this matter. I think "Hallo Spaceboy" and Mark Spitz book? Maybe "Loving the Alien" too. And on youtube there are some interviews with Bowie and Trent from 1995.

I'm not sure though it was just young fans leaving the concerts during Bowie's set. A lot of people were also expecting him to play more hits (including music critics). There's a bootleg called A Hyper Circle during the performance you can hear one Bowie fan complaining about him not playing "Young Americans"! He actually says something like "IF he's not playing Young Americans Im going to climb onstage and kick his ass". So im not sure it were just the grey hairs that remained.
For me it was the right thing (artistically) at the right time to do.

I have several NIN albums - great band. I would have loved to have seen the whole thing in the UK.

As it was - it was still one of my favourite Bowie tours.
Last edited by Littlebombardier on May 9th, 2012, 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 19th, 2004, 4:32 pm

May 9th, 2012, 7:55 pm #14

One reason why people were walking out in droves was over half the set was Outside songs!!! Of course now a days people would pay thousands of dollars to hear Bowie play the Outside album live. The tour started before the album came out, a lot of people at the show ( myself included) had no idea what the hell he was playing. I was impressed with Bowie's "fuck you, i will play what i like, not what you like" attitude I thought the show was amazing as did my friend, my friends Dad on the other hand, bitched the whole drive home about Bowie not playing ziggy, space oddity, Changes, Golden years LOL
Last edited by gabe_ on May 9th, 2012, 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 28th, 2002, 2:54 pm

May 10th, 2012, 12:41 am #15

Regardless of who opened it was an incredibly ballsy show. I was fortunate enough to see it in Toronto a week into the tour and I couldn't care less about hearing carbon copy hits, it was brilliant. I wish David had one more surprise up his sleeve. after 40+ years I don't want this ride to be over.
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Joined: October 19th, 2004, 4:32 pm

May 10th, 2012, 12:53 am #16

Have you seen this????

Bowie Toronto 95

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Joined: November 28th, 2002, 2:54 pm

May 10th, 2012, 11:32 am #17

Thanks Gabe
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Joined: August 26th, 2007, 11:29 am

May 10th, 2012, 11:51 am #18

it's cool

all these complaints from people who don't even write one decent song in their entire life..

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Joined: September 10th, 2006, 11:50 am

May 10th, 2012, 1:18 pm #19

One the best Bowie tours full stop.

It was more a case of NIN taking up the offer to share the stage as The Downward Spiral was recorded in the Tate murder house and Trent has mentioned many times he listened to Low in full every day during the recording of the Spiral album.

What else was Bowie to do? Recycle the S+V shite over and over like Elton, Billy, Cher and friends?

Anyone who criticised this tour at the time had not once of sense and should have fucked off to a Phil Collins concert to begin with. This was a fresh and edgy Bowie and the real fans loved it.

16 years on those live shows are still brilliant to watch and listen to.

Thank god Bowie said "Fuck you I will play whatever I want!"
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Joined: June 14th, 2011, 8:15 pm

May 10th, 2012, 2:26 pm #20

I agree BSI.
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Joined: January 17th, 2009, 6:29 pm

May 10th, 2012, 3:38 pm #21

Like creating Ziggy Stardust, like killing him off; like dropping the Hunger City set and pursuing his obsession with soul. Like going to Berlin. Like touring with NIN.

The Bowie we love and obsess over is the Bowie who works without a net. And who, finally, doesn't give a shit for his fans' expectations. It's why he may just surprise us again.

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg
"Schtum!"
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