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Remembering David Bowie Through The Many Musical Tributes In 2016

One year ago today, the music world was shaken by the news that pop icon David Bowie had passed away at the age of 69 after an unpublicized battle with liver cancer. In addition to a massive outpouring of condolences and memorials of Bowie in the media (and even a special fireworks display in Sydney), countless musicians paid tribute to the late superstar through their music, covering his catalogue in their own live shows. As we remember Bowie today, we take a look back at some of the most memorable live David Bowie tributes from the year since his death.

Less than two weeks after Bowie’s passing, Umphrey’s McGee was scheduled to play a three-night run at The Beacon Theatre. For their January 21st performance, in addition to a tribute to recently-deceased Glenn Frey, the band encored with a pair of Bowie tunes: “Space Oddity” and “Fame”. You can watch footage of Umph’s tribute to the fallen Star Man below (courtesy of YouTube user mk devo):

Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | The Beacon Theatre | New York, NY | 1/21/16 (via allthings.umphreys)

Set 1: Goonville >  Plunger >  40’s Theme,  In The Black,  Roulette >  Kimble,  Attachments,  Rocker Part 2

Set 2: All In Time[1],  Booth Love[2],  Bridgeless -> Remind Me,  Tribute to the Spinal Shaft[3] >  Bridgeless

Encore: Space Oddity[4] >  Fame
[1] with The End (The Beatles) tease by Kris
[2] with You Belong to the City (Glenn Frey) jam and quotes
[3] with Xxplosive (Dr. Dre) teases
[4] debut, David Bowie

Moe. Begins New Year’s Celebration With Tributes To David Bowie & Carrie Fisher [Full Audio]

At 2016’s Electric Forest Festival, hosts The String Cheese Incident used the second set of their second of three performances to pay tribute to Bowie and Prince, who also passed away early in the year. String Cheese opened up their tribute with a cover of Prince’s “Kiss,” before calling on Karl Denson for a run of songs that included Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” and Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” You can watch some of the magic below (courtesy of YouTube user Tom Heinrich):

Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | Electric Forest | Rothbury, MI | 6/25/16

Set 1:  BollyMunster, Song In My Head > Dudley’s Kitrchen, Sweet Spot, Falling Through the Cracks, Turn This Around > Can’t Wait Another Day, Beautiful

Set 2: Believe, Stop Drop Roll, Kiss (Prince) > Let’s Dance* (Bowie) > Let’s Go Crazy* (Prince) > Space Oddity* (Bowie), Search, Valley of the Jig > Kinky Reggae, Colliding, Jellyfish > Just One Story

* w/ Karl Denson

Pink Talking Fish & Kung Fu Perform The Music Of Prince And David Bowie At Catskill Chill [Full Audio]

At this year’s Mountain JamMarco Benevento & Superhuman Happiness put on a full-set Bowie tribute. Gov’t Mule guitarist and festival co-host Warren Haynes joined the band for a rousing rendition of “Rebel, Rebel”, which you can watch below via Mountain Jam’s YouTube channel:

Tom Hamilton Recreates David Bowie’s Blackstar At Masquerade Ball [Audio/Gallery]

Phish has never been shy about proclaiming Bowie’s influence on their music. In addition to their own classic composition (“David Bowie”) that bears the artist’s name, the band’s cover of “Life On Mars?” is a highly sought-after gem in their live repertoire. In the wake of Bowie’s death, many Phish fans wondered how the band would pay homage to the pop legend. As it turned out, the band had a variety of touching tributes in store during the ensuing year. First, on night one of their two night stand at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Phish debuted “Space Oddity” as an a cappella tune. The impressive, intricate arrangement sees the band recreate both the song’s vocal and instrumental parts (including Trey Anastasio hilariously singing the guitar solos). You can watch the live debut of Phish’s arrangement of “Space Oddity” from Wrigley below (courtesy of YouTube user WarEagleTimeMachine):

The a cappella “Space Oddity” became a staple of the band’s live rotation for the rest of the year, being performed four more times after Wrigley. The fourth and most recent of these served as the encore for the band’s 2016 Halloween show, but it was far from the only hat tip to Bowie on 10/31/16. For their traditional “musical costume”, Phish performed David Bowie’s classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars in its entirety with help from a string section and backup singers. You can watch partial video of Phish’s Ziggy Stardust Halloween set below (from YouTube user Saulee hair). You can also listen to the full show here:

Setlist: Phish | MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las Vegas, NV | 10/31/16

Set 1: Carini[1], Your Pet Cat > AC/DC Bag > Free > Possum, What’s the Use? > Wombat, Tube, Wolfman’s Brother, Ass Handed, Petrichor > Run Like an Antelope[1]

Set 2: Five Years[2], Soul Love[3], Moonage Daydream[4], Starman[3], It Ain’t Easy[5], Lady Stardust[6], Star[5], Hang On to Yourself[5], Ziggy Stardust[7], Suffragette City[5], Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide[4]

Set 3: 46 Days > Sand > Twist[8], Meatstick > Also Sprach Zarathustra  > Backwards Down the Number Line > Slave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Space Oddity

This show was webcast via Live Phish. Carini and Antelope featured lyrics altered to reference Trey’s shirt. Trey teased Undermind in Possum. The second set “musical costume” was David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. All of the songs in the second set were Phish debuts. Five Years, Soul Love, Moonage Daydream, Starman, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide featured a string sextet comprised of Sylvia D’Avanzo (violin), Alisa Horn (cello), Todd Low (viola), Antoine Silverman (violin), Alissa Smith (viola), and Hiroko Taguchi (violin). All the songs in the second set other than Five Years, Lady Stardust, and Ziggy Stardust featured Jennifer Hartswick, Celisse Henderson and Jo Lampert on backing vocals. Trey played acoustic guitar on Five Years, Soul Love, Starman, and Lady Stardust. Trey did not play guitar (but contributed lead vocals) on It Ain’t Easy and Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide. Page did not play keyboards (but contributed lead voclas) on Ziggy Stardust. Carmel Dean arranged the all of the vocals and strings in the second set. Twist featured Trey on Marimba Lumina and Mike and Page on percussion. Also Sprach Zarathustra contained Fame quotes from Trey.
The massive outpouring of love and appreciation for David Bowie in the year since his death has been incredible and inspiring, and affirms just how special a talent this man was. We miss you, Star Man. Thank you for all of the magic that you bestowed upon us.