15 Years Ago: David Bowie Plays His Last Concert
As one of the most inventive performers of the rock era, David Bowie's concerts were always a spectacle. Yet, his last one – at the Hurricane Festival in Scheessel, Germany, on June 25, 2004 – passed by with little fanfare.
There were actually dates scheduled to follow, but a health scare forced Bowie to cancel the rest of a tour in support of 2003's Reality. Following the Scheessel date, Bowie had an emergency angioplasty.
The problem started a couple of days earlier during a show in Prague, when he started feeling pain in his left shoulder and abruptly ended his concert. Tests revealed an acutely blocked artery, and the final month of the European tour was shelved. Bowie's death on Jan. 10, 2016, left the Hurricane Festival date as his last-ever concert.
That wasn't the only problem on Reality tour. A week prior, in Oslo, Bowie was hit in the eye by a lollipop that had been thrown by a fan. More seriously, his Miami concert was cancelled when a lighting technician died after falling from the rig above the stage before the concert.
After that, Bowie made only a handful of guest appearances, sitting in with Arcade Fire in 2005 and David Gilmour a year later. That November, he also joined Alicia Keys at a benefit concert in New York.
A DVD featuring footage from two Dublin shows on the Reality tour was released in 2010. Unfortunately, Bowie never sang in public ever again. He refused to tour behind the release of 2013's acclaimed The Next Day, his first album since Reality. Blackstar arrived just days before he succumbed to cancer.