Life On Mars – 2005 (David Bowie)

After an elongated mid-life crisis that raged for about a decade and was responsible for artistic missteps as varied as too-late-to-be-punkish garage band experiment Tin Machine and his embarrassing dalliances with ‘jungle’, it was very relieving when David Bowie started to act his age. A more subdued, minimalistic performer emerged, with an approach typified by this 2005 performance at Fashion Rocks, the first since his 2004 heart attack and one of his last before he vanished from the public eye. Simply but beautifully accompanied by his Blofeld-alike keyboard foil Mike Garson, Bowie’s stately warble brings a new grandeur to the already-cinematic ‘Life On Mars’. The black eye, the bandaged hand, the short trousers? Real or for effect? With Bowie, who knows.

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