Musicians Anna Calvi, left, Amanda Palmer and Jherek Bischoff perform with the Kronos Quartet at The Music of David Bowie tribute concert at Radio City Music Hall on Friday, April, 1, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
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The concerts were not about dutiful covers of Bowie's hits, many of which went unplayed.Michael Stipe of R.E.M. fame offered one of the most stirring performances by transforming "Ashes to Ashes" -- Bowie's 1980 hit that heralded his entrance into mainstream pop -- into a piano ballad. Commanding near silence in 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall Friday night, Stipe appeared to be speaking to a Bowie in the afterlife -- or, as the late rocker may have preferred it, in space -- as he sang with whispered tenderness about a bleak life chapter of Bowie's fictional astronaut Major Tom. This time there could be no duet with Bowie.Bassist Jherek Bischoff -- who collaborated with Calvi and Palmer on an EP of Bowie covers -- wove together the non-linear song, whose original was laced with electronic elements.
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