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David Is Goliath

The former Ziggy Stardust proves giants still walk the music scene

In this way, Bowie's not pandering to the fans when he plays all of the songs they know or bows to the trappings of superstardom. He's acknowledging audiences and their adoration of him without being stuffy and arrogant or making them feel like his royal minions. With a sly wink, Bowie makes his concerts more like a raucous soccer match, a "we're-in-this-together!" shot of solidarity. And by acknowledging and joking about his status as a heritage act, he's one-upping critics who might lambaste him as an old git -- before the attack even happens. This self-deprecation has the added bonus of keeping Bowie accessible and unpretentious enough to attract new generations of fans. In Boston, whippersnappers wearing shirts promoting the Darkness deigned to sit in public with their dads, and Hot Topic-bedecked goths and punks sat next to accountant-types whose idea of a big night out is a trip to Wal-Mart.

Meaning something to bankers and beggars has always been Bowie's forte, and his 2004 Reality is no different. But, more than any time in the recent past, the man who sold the world is having fun with his music and his legend. Because he can -- and because ch-ch-ch-changing into the down-to-earth dude he is today has simply solidified David Bowie's position as one of music's most phenomenal figures.

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