A David Bowie tribute that let All the Children Boogie

“Thank you David Bowie, for existing!”

Jason Rabinowitz spoke for everyone at Scottish Rite Theater as New York duo the Pop Ups left the stage Friday, shortly after they’d delighted a packed house of children and parents at “All the Children Boogie: A Tribute to David Bowie.”

Charlie Sexton joins the Barton Hills Choir at Scottish Rite Theater Friday, March 18, 2016. Photo by Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman
Charlie Sexton joins the Barton Hills Choir at Scottish Rite Theater Friday, March 18, 2016. Photo by Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman

Presented by local “indie music for indie kids” radio program Spare the Rock Spoil the Child and the parenting website LiveMom.com, the daytime event at Scottish Rite Theater wasn’t an official South by Southwest event, but it was a good example of how SXSW can spawn wonderfully creative collateral events.

The big crowds showed up for an 11:30 a.m. appearance by the Barton Hills Choir, well-known for their annual opening sets at ACL Fest. Joining them this time were local luminaries Charlie Sexton, on “Space Oddity” and “Starman” (he also did “Heroes” and “Golden Years” on his own), and Nakia, who also sang Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay” after joining the Choir on “Lady Stardust.”

NakiaKids
Nakia sings with kids from the audience at Scottish Rite Theater Friday, March 18, 2016. Photo by Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman

One might think Bowie’s music is too “adult” for child’s play, but there are entryways if you seek them out. The Pop Ups smartly chose “Oh You Pretty Things,” with its telling lyric, “Don’t you know you’re driving your mamas and papas insane.” And the event’s name came from the chorus of “Starman”: “Let the children lose it, let the children use it, let all the children boogie.”

Those in the line outside during Barton Hills Choir eventually got in, with performances continuing for most of the afternoon from the likes of Joe McDermott, Jon Langford, David Wax Museum and Riders Against the Storm. So, indeed: Thank you, David Bowie, for existing.

Author: Peter Blackstock

Music writer for the Austin American-Statesman and austin360.com. Twitter: @Blackstock360

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