Review: Bowie’s Piano Man – Live at The Sun Rose by Mike Garson with Mason Alexander Park

I have 1 complaint about Mike Garson and Mason Alexander Park‘s EP, Bowie’s Piano Man – Live at The Sun Rose – it is only 3 songs. 😭

For those that do not know who pianist Mike Garson is, he has only played piano with the likes of David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Duran Duran, and The Smashing Pumpkins to name a few and if you don’t know who know Mason Alexander Park, they can be seen on Neil Gaiman‘s The Sandman and the Quantum Leap reboot to also name a few.

Before you roll your eyes and think, ‘great another actor singing’, Mason Alexander Park, has a theatre background, performing the lead on stage in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Singing is part of their life and they can carry a mean mother f’n tune.

Performed live in October 2022, the duo picked three songs for this EP:

“Where are We Now” from David Bowie‘s 25th studio album, The Next Day. Park’s vocals emote a tender and gentle sadness that is is filled with hope and Garson matches that emotion key for key. What I find quite lovely about this cover is that hope in Park’s voice. There’s strength in that sadness and they both showcase it wonderfully as the song crescendos towards the end.

The second track on the EP is “Space Oddity” from David Bowie‘s 2nd studio album, David Bowie. Man, does Mason Alexander Park, kill this cover. This is perhaps my favourite “Space Oddity” cover. I didn’t know I needed a piano version of this song until I heard it. Garson is heartfelt and powerful on the keys and with Park on vocals, the song tethers towards being a ballad of heartbreak and loss. It’s a must listen for all Bowie fans.

“Wicked Little Town” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch by Stephen Trask closes out the EP. Garson and Park are both beautifully haunting on this track. While I am a huge Bowie fan, this song is my favourite from the EP. For me, the song showcases the various nuances that Park can bring to a song. You can hear the hopelessness, the hopefulness, the strength, the power, and the tenacity of one breaking free of life’s restraints when they are singing this song.

Mike Garson and Mason Alexander Park are absolute magic together.

Listen to Bowie’s Piano Man – Live at The Sun Rose on Spotify

Album photo by Michelle Shiers.