Women in Music 2016

Tony Visconti Performs at David Bowie Tribute Concert in Toronto: Watch

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Mourners gather by a mural of David Bowie in Brixton for a street party celebrating his life on January 11, 2016 in London, England. British music and fashion icon David Bowie died earlier today at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. 

David Bowie's longtime producer celebrated the late musician's life with a tribute concert, telling the audience there is no better way to work through grief than through music.

About 900 people gathered Tuesday night at a sold-out Toronto concert hall to pay tribute to the pop star who died Sunday of cancer. They heard the band Holy Holy featuring Bowie's longtime producer, bassist Tony Visconti, and former Bowie drummer, Mick (Woody) Woodmansey.

The concert was scheduled months ago as part of a tour, but only sold out after Bowie's death.

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Visconti addressed the crowd just before the set, saying that Monday was one of the worst days of his life after he learned of Bowie's death.

"We actually had to talk about whether we were going to perform more on this tour," Visconti said. "There is no better way to work through grief (than) through music. Music is magic. It's better than any pill to take, It's better than any drug."

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"This is some of the best music that's ever been written," added Visconti, who produced Bowie's last album, Blackstar, which was released days before the singer's death.

Holy Holy played Bowie's 1970 album The Man Who Sold The World in its entirety and also performed such Bowie hits as "Changes."

"This is some celebration," Visconti later told the raucous, emotional crowd.

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Woodmansey formed Holy Holy in 2013. He was Bowie's drummer from 1970 to 1973 and worked on several of his albums. Visconti was Bowie's producer throughout his entire career, starting with Bowie's 1969 album Space Oddity up through Blackstar. The band also features Glenn Gregory on lead vocals.

"This was an emotional night for us. Seeing you people here we know we did the right thing," Gregory said to the audience. "You made us comfortable."

Fan Jackie Shapiro, 37, said she viewed the concert as a wake and wanted to celebrate Bowie's life and music. Fans signed a book of condolences before the show. Some came with painted lightning bolts streaked across their faces like the one Bowie painted over his face on the cover of his 1973 album Aladdin Sane.

The band scheduled another show in Toronto for Wednesday after the promoter requested it.