Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Windborne, Pso Manage the Various Changes of Bowie

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Windborne, Pso Manage the Various Changes of Bowie

Article excerpt

"I'm not trying to be David Bowie," Brody Dolyniuk humbly told the crowd at Heinz Hall Friday night, but we already knew that when he came out doing "Rebel Rebel" mugging and pointing like he was working a cruise ship.

Dolyniuk, the singer for Windborne's The Music of David Bowie, is the Frank Caliendo of the tribute circuit, possessing a strong, versatile voice and an upcoming itinerary that includes Zeppelin USA, Music of Queen, Music of the Rolling Stones, Music of U2, Music of The Who and Elton John's Greatest Hits Live!

Having just seen him do Bowie and switch to Freddie Mercury on "Under Pressure," there's no doubt he has the range for those various voices and more. How he memorizes all those lyrics is another feat entirely.

This gig was for Windborne Music, which has been presenting classic rock with orchestras since 1995 and has the seemingly contradictory mission statement of "[staying] on the cutting edge of the live and recorded music industry" and "[wanting] our listeners to be enveloped in the rich musical heritage of these classic rock groups."

Nothing says cutting-edge like a tribute show.

But Dolyniuk's over-the-top persona and disregard for the styles and mannerisms of Bowie aside -- when he was moonwalking and doing the Robot I just had to look away -- Windborne did not embarrass itself with this Bowie tribute. Its founder, Brent Havens, a good-natured, fun-loving sort by all indications, was on hand to conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony, set behind a fine rock band that had done The Music of the Eagles on the same stage the previous night.

I've now seen several of these symphonic rock productions -- most recently Pat Benatar and Nelly -- and can say that Havens' arrangements for the orchestra were far bolder, brighter and more intricate than most. It was evident as soon as the strings kicked in on the second song, "Ziggy Stardust." Micah Howard, the PSO bassist who was singing along to Nelly's "Ride Wit Me" last week, confirmed that "these arrangements featured the orchestra a bit more."

The strings were doing more than just creating syrupy background music, especially on songs like "China Girl" and "Changes," and the brass got to shine as well, even on a song like "Suffragette City," without ruining it. …

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