What did David Bowie play at his last gig?

10 January 2020, 10:36

David Bowie in 2015
David Bowie in 2015. Picture: Jimmy King/Press

We take a look at the Starman's final performance and his last official gig.

This week marks the fourth anniversary of David Bowie's passing on 10 January 2016.

Two days before his death, the Heroes icon left us a parting gift in his Blackstar album, but he hadn't actually performed live for almost 10 years.

While the last decade of his life was littered with rumours of headline performances and festival slots, Bowie kept himself away from the stage, preferring to live a simple life with his wife Iman and daughter Lexi in New York, while releasing surprise albums.

But what was his last ever show? And what did he play?

Get the answers to this and more below...

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True Bowie fans will know the actual answer to this question is threefold.

In 2007 Bowie introduced his friend Ricky Gervais to the stage live at Madison Square Garden by singing Little Fat Man from Gervais' Extras series, in which he featured.

See his this video, which Gervais shared on Twitter back on 2016 with the caption: "David Bowie's last ever live performance. Introducing me on stage at Madison Sq Garden. Rock God & Hero".

Watch Ricky Gervais talk about his relationship with David Bowie:

David Bowie's last proper live performance also took place long before he left us. In 2006 he took to New York's Hammersmith Ballroom for the Black Ball fundraiser, playing three tracks.

His cover of Johnny Mathis' Wild Is the Wind was followed by 1979 Lodger track Fantastic Voyag, but most notably, his last ever song during the charity show was a rendition of Changes, which featured Alicia Keys.

Watch the grainy video footage, which was shared by Sssimone on YouTube, below:

Despite this being his last ever public performance, it was his gig two years previous which saw Bowie play his last ever official set.

The gig took place on 25 June 2004 at Germany's Hurricane Festival in Eichenring, Scheeßel as part of the tour for his 2003 Reality album.

His career-spanning set kicked-off with Rebel Rebel and included Ashes to Ashes, Changes, Man Who Sold The World and Life On Mars?

Also on the set were his covers of Iggy Pop's Sister Midnight, Pixies' Cactus and his Queen collaboration Under Pressure.

After suffering from chest pains throughout the gig, Bowie is known to have collapsed off-stage after he played Ziggy Stardust- the last track on his encore.

The Suffragette City star was sent to hospital where it was determined he had suffered a heart attack after an acutely blocked artery, which required an emergency angioplasty in Hamburg.

Bowie cancelled the remaining 14 dates on A Reality Tour and retreated significantly from the spotlight, never formally touring again.

Even the release of his album The Next Day on 8 January 2013 (his 66th birthday) couldn't coax Bowie back onto the stage.

Bowie of course always knew that his Blackstar album, which was released on his 69th birthday (just two days before his passing) would never be toured, but he gave us some amazing art to remember him by.

Get the setlist for David Bowie's final official gig at Germany's Hurricane Festival in 2004:

1. Rebel Rebel

2. Fame

3. Battle for Britain (The Letter)

4. Sister Midnight (Iggy Pop cover)

5. New Killer Star

6. Cactus (Pixies cover)

7. All the Young Dudes

8. China Girl (Iggy Pop cover)

9. Modern Love

10. Station to Station

11. The Man Who Sold the World

12. Changes

13. The Loneliest Guy

14. Under Pressure (Queen collaboration)

15. Ashes to Ashes

16. Quicksand

17. I'm Afraid of Americans

18. "Heroes"


19. Life on Mars?

20. Suffragette City

21. Ziggy Stardust

Watch Bowie walk off stage at the end of the concert below:

Test yourself on this Bowie lyric quiz: