Bowie Enjoys Live 'Reality' Check

An admittedly nervous David Bowie previewed his forthcoming ISO/Columbia effort, "Reality," in a tiny upstate New York club last night (Aug. 19), playing the balance of the new set as well as such cla

An admittedly nervous David Bowie previewed his forthcoming ISO/Columbia effort, "Reality," in a tiny upstate New York club last night (Aug. 19), playing the balance of the new set as well as such classics as "Suffragette City," "The Man Who Sold the World" and "Rebel Rebel."

Bowie and his six-piece touring outfit ran through an 18-song warm-up for his first large-scale world tour in more than a decade, set to begin Oct. 7 in Copenhagen. Before some 600 fans crammed into the scrappy Chance in downtown Poughkeepsie, N.Y., which lies roughly 80 miles from the heart of Manhattan, the artist proclaimed that he and his bandmates were terrified.

With fans sometimes wrapping their arms around his legs, Bowie delivered six songs from "Reality," including his take on the Jonathan Richman-penned "Pablo Picasso" (originally recorded by Richman's band the Modern Lovers), as well as the Sept. 11th-inspired "New Killer Star" and the defiant "Never Get Old."

At one point, he thanked the many audience members who had driven long distances to get to the show. "And some of you only came from New York," he quipped, before reminding himself to be nice, and then slyly referencing the departure time for the last train back to Manhattan: 10:59 p.m. Bowie left the stage just in time for audience members to catch that train.

Bowie and his backing band, the same unit that backed him on the Tony Visconti-produced "Reality," have been rehearsing for several weeks, and the singer admitted that the show was still a work in progress. Next to his mic was a music stand holding a book of lyrics, about which he noted that, if this weren't a warm-up gig, would not be necessary.

Bowie is expected to launch a North American tour in December.