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Exclusive: 32,000 stream David Bowie memorial concerts

Promoter Michael Dorf raised $45,000 from live-streaming The Music of David Bowie, which included performances by Blondie, Pixies, The Flaming Lips and Michael Stipe

By Jon Chapple on 06 Apr 2016

Karen Elson, Michael Stipe, The Music of David Bowie, Carnegie Hall, 31 March 2016, LongIslandBands/RockConcertsOnline.com

Karen Elson and Michael Stipe play 'Ashes to Ashes' in Carnegie Hall


image © RockConcertsOnline.com

Last week’s David Bowie tribute concerts in New York were live-streamed by 32,000 people worldwide.

The two The Music of David Bowie gigs, at Carnegie Hall on Thursday 31 March and Radio City Music Hall the following night, could be streamed live over Skype for a recommended minimum donation of US$20 or £15 to the events’ charity partners.

The concerts were the 12th in Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf’s Music of series, which raises funds for music education programmes for underprivileged children.

Speaking to IQ, Dorf revealed that donations from those 32,000 viewers raised a total of US$45,000 – an impressive sum, even if it does work out to just over $1.40 per stream (seven per cent of the recommended $20).

Performers at the shows included Ann Wilson of Heart, who opened with ‘Space Oddity’, REM’s Michael Stipe, who played a stripped down version of ‘Ashes to Ashes’ accompanied only by a piano and model/backing vocalist Karen Elson, Blondie, who performed ‘Heroes’, Mumford & Sons performing ‘It Ain’t Easy’, Perry Farrell playing ‘Rebel Rebel” and The Flaming Lips, whose frontman Wayne Coyne sang ‘Life on Mars?’ while riding on the shoulders of a man in a Chewbacca costume (because why not).

Long-time Bowie producer Tony Visconti also led a house band that included Spiders from Mars drummer Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey.

David Bowie died aged 69 on 10 January 2016.

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