By Adam Schalke
Acknowledging the mark Bowie left on popular music today, it seemed appropriate when a sonically-diverse crew of his biggest disciples packed Carnegie Hall last month in New York for a tribute to the late artistic pioneer.
The Flaming Lips, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Mumford and Sons, The Pixies and many more came out to cover Bowie’s songs and celebrate his life and memory. The March 31 concert was part of an ongoing series of annual charity performances to benefit musical programs for underprivileged students in New York City.
When it was originally proposed, this specific concert was meant to be a tribute to Bowie, while he was still alive. When news of his death became public, the concert quickly changed to a memorial concert instead, honoring Bowie’s life and legacy.
Some performances misfired ever so slightly, like Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell’s lethargic take on “Rebel Rebel,” but the strongest performances of the night covered any slack.
Michael Stipe and Karen Elson’s somber rendition of “Ashes to Ashes,” or the Flaming Lips appropriately theatrical take on “Life on Mars,” were perhaps the best performances, with both showing the wide range of Bowie’s enormous influence.