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All Bowie, All Night

The Seattle Rock Orchestra pays tribute to the 1970s glam years of David Bowie.

By Tiffany Wan March 23, 2010

It’s tough to pick a favorite David Bowie era/persona (Thin White Duke? Berlin? The Goblin King from Labyrinth?), but the glam years are unquestionably his most iconic.

In homage to his most prolific decade, the Seattle Rock Orchestra will perform 15 songs from Bowie’s early ‘70s albums (namely Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, and Diamond Dogs) at the Moore Theatre this Friday, March 26. Vocalists for the evening include Jon Auer (formerly of the Posies), David Terry (Aqueduct) and Nouela Johnston (People Eating People).

At the helm of this event is bassist Scott Teske, director of the SRO—an all-volunteer group of local musicians who lend back-up accompaniment to local and touring acts (including Suzanne Vega and Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate). But after a successful sold-out show at Fremont Abbey last November, where they covered Arcade Fire’s debut album Funeral in its entirety, Teske realized they could moonlight as a tribute band.

So why Bowie? “Who doesn’t love Bowie,” Teske told me matter-of-factly. “Secondly, whether or not people love Bowie, I love Bowie.” One needs the deepest devotion to Ziggy Stardust to pull off an adaptation of 15 songs for 86 musicians who play a spectrum of classical instruments, from the harp to the tuba to the oboe. Oh, and let’s not forget a guest choir conducted by Rafe Wadleigh (choirmaster at Holy Names Academy), adding another 30 people into the mix for a grand total of 116 individuals onstage. At the Moore.

Openers the Kindness Kind (for whom Teske plays bass) will also join the SRO for its Bowie blowout set. Teske insists they’ve gotten so good at covers, the band could “probably take a pseudonym and play the casino circuit.” Whether casino-goers are as fond of Bowie as they are of, say, Carlos Mencia remains to be seen.

Seattle Rock Orchestra: A Tribute to David Bowie starts Friday at 8 at the Moore Theatre. Tickets are $15-$18 at

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