20 Years Ago Today: David Bowie Played His Final Full-Length Concert at a German Festival

Today, June 25, 2024, marks the 20th anniversary of what turned out to be David Bowie’s final full concert of his career. The show took place at the Hurricane Festival in Scheessel, Germany. It was part of the European leg of the U.K. rock legend’s A Reality Tour.

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During the concert, Bowie began experiencing chest pains and he reportedly collapsed as he exited the stage following the encores. Afterward, he was diagnosed with a blocked coronary artery and required an angioplasty procedure, although fans initially were told that he was suffering from a pinched nerve. Bowie was forced to cancel the remaining 15 performances on the trek, and he never toured again.

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Bowie’s Hurricane Festival performance was the seventh show of his European tour in support of his 2003 album, Reality. According to Setlist.fm, he played a 21-song set that included two song from Reality—“New Killer Star” and “The Loneliest Guy”—as well as such classics as “Rebel Rebel,” “Fame,” “Modern Love,” “Changes,” the Queen collab “Under Pressure,” “Ashes to Ashes,” “‘Heroes’,” “Suffragette City,” and “Ziggy Stardust.”

In addition, Bowie performed covers of Iggy Pop’s “China Girl” and the Pixies’ “Cactus,” both which he’d recorded for earlier studio albums. He also song another Iggy Pop song at the show, “Sister Midnight.”

You can check out a few performances from the show on YouTube.

Bowie’s Other Performances After His Final Tour

Following the abbreviated tour, Bowie only sang live at a handful of other events, usually as a guest performer. In September 2005, he joined Arcade Fire for a couple of songs at two different events in New York, the first at Radio City Music Hall and the second in Central Park.

Then, in May 29, 2006, he was a special guest at Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s concert at Royal Albert Hall in London. He sang two Pink Floyd tunes at the show—“Arnold Layne” and “Comfortably Numb.”

In November of 2006, he sang a couple of songs solo, then joined Alicia Keys for a rendition of “Changes” at the Keep a Child Alive charity’s annual Black Ball at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.

Bowie’s last-ever live performance took place in May 2007, when he sang the tongue-in-cheek tune “Little Fat Man” while introducing comedian Ricky Gervais at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Bowie died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016, at age 69, two days after releasing his final album, Blackstar.

David Bowie Set List, Hurricane Festival, Schleessel, Germany, 6/25/2004:

  1. “Rebel Rebel”
  2. “Fame”
  3. “Battle for Britain (The Letter)”
  4. “Sister Midnight”
  5. “New Killer Star”
  6. “Cactus”
  7. “All the Young Dudes”
  8. “China Girl”
  9. “Modern Love”
  10. “Station to Station”
  11. “The Man Who Sold the World”
  12. “Changes”
  13. “The Loneliest Guy”
  14. “Under Pressure”
  15. “Ashes to Ashes”
  16. “Quicksand”
  17. “I’m Afraid of Americans”
  18. “‘Heroes’”


  1. “Life on Mars?”
  2. “Suffragette City”
  3. “Ziggy Stardust”

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