Why did Bowie tour with NIN? (Because They're Young)
May 5 2012 at 12:40 PM
sam (Login whitecaps) BW Member from IP address 220.127.116.11
In my continuing series of lectures, I would like to focus on Bowie's 1995 tour with NIN. To my knowledge, this is Bowie's first and only tour co-headlining with a major act. Why did Bowie do it?
I feel Bowie was trying to gain a younger audience. NIN was not of Bowie's rock generation, but much younger. Bowie wanted to gain a younger generation of fans. Perhaps he looked out at his own audience and saw mainly old people. Perhaps he did not want the younger fans to think of him as that "Let's Dance guy."
Bowie had an edge, a dark side. In fact he was one of the pioneers of weird, outside rock and roll. He wanted younger, more discriminating fans to realize this so he focused on the NIN audience. He toured the Outside album and put a display of maggots onstage.
There is a sad sidenote however, Many have reported that when Bowie took the stage after NIN's performance during this tour, much of the younger audience walked out. This is their statement. "You are not of us," the young rockers are saying. "You are my dad's band."
We can see that Bowie is always calculating, trying to market his brand. Nothing wrong with this. Nothing wrong with gaining new fans who don't realize how musical and exciting Bowie is. However, it must have been dismaying to see the cool fans walk out while the gray hairs remained to watch their star.