Twenty years ago this past September, David Bowie brought his Outside Tour to Great Woods in Mansfield. The September 16 show arrived ten days before Bowie dropped his album of the same name, and the tour was exceptionally notable because it was a co-headlining run with Nine Inch Nails, which had released The Downward Spiral the year prior.
Bowie’s Outside Tour would play 68 shows in total across North America and Europe, stretching out to February ’96 and hitting a string of amphitheatres, pavilions, and arenas. It was an extensive tour, and it took extensive preparation.
“Here’s some rehearsal footage from 1995 during preparations for the Outside tour,” Garson writes. “Our rehearsals were pure joy. Great focus. Great humor. Great attention to detail. I am proud to have been able to see the amazing unfolding of our music and to have had the time with those beautiful musicians led by our fearless leader named David.”
According to Dangerous Minds, Bowie’s backing group for the tour included: Reeves Gabrels and Carlos Alomar on guitars; Gail Ann Dorsey on bass guitar and vocals; Zack Alford on drums; Garson on piano; George Simms on backing vocals and keyboards; and musical director Peter Schwartz on synthesizer. Reznor and his band joined in a bunch as well.
“I personally did like the combination of NIN and me, but my fans didn’t,” Bowie told HUMO Magazine about the tour, also via Dangerous Minds. “Bad luck! It also was an extremely young audience, between about 12 and 17 years old. My starting point was simply: I’ve just made an adventurous album, what can I do now to turn the concerts as adventurous. Looking at it in that way, it seemed logical to confront myself with the NIN audience. I knew it would be hard to captivate them by music they never heard, by an artist whose name was the only familiar thing.”
Here’s some footage of the tour, via a long-lost MTV News report…