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David Bowie impersonator Rich Kline was as shocked as anyone by Bowie's death in 2016 from cancer.
"One of the many good things about David was he kept his personal life private," said Kline, lead singer of the six-piece David Bowie tribute band Diamond Dogs. "You only got to know what he wanted you to know. He kept it well hidden and then he released an album 'Blackstar,' which is really heavy. Leave it to David to turn his death into a piece of art. He went out on top."
The Diamond Dogs concert on Saturday at Kent Stage "will be a greatest hits show," Kline said. "We're splitting the bill with ProgNation, so for our time we're going to go heavy on the hits people want to hear."
Kline was about 10-years-old when he discovered Bowie's music. A friend's big brother had Bowie records and glow-in-the-dark posters tacked up in his bedroom.
"It was a learning experience," Kline said. "Kiss and Alice Cooper were out at the same time. Being young and impressionable things stick with you. I'll always remember that 'Diamond Dogs' album cover."
Kline formed Diamond Dogs in 2002. The band went from playing small clubs to selling out larger venues, including House of Blues, Hard Rock, Tangier and Rockin' on the River.
"I was doing a handful of Bowie covers and we always heard great stuff about it and people hinting we should do it full-time," Kline said. "We said 'why not' and began to piece the band together in 2002. Its been going very well ever since."
Bowie's official website occasionally posted upcoming Diamond Dog shows, Kline said, and interest in the band spiked after Bowie's death.
"We got more interest," Kline said. "We got more phone calls from people wanting to book the band. When we started, there were only a few other Bowie tributes mostly in Europe."
Saturday's concert at Kent Stage will feature all the hits --- "Fame," "Space Oddity," "China Girl," "Life On Mars" and Kline wearing Bowie costumes, from platform boots to spacesuits.
"We cover Bowie's career from '69 through the most recent album 'Blackstar,'" Kline said. "Not only do we perform the music, but I take on the persona. A lot of costume changes. We do the whole thing."
Kline's favorite Bowie albums are "Outside," "Station to Station" and "Low."
"He was really stretching himself," Kline said. "He was really exploring unchartered territory. Breaking boundaries. The thing about Bowie was he was unpredictable. My favorite Bowie quote was 'I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring' and it never was."
Kline will be joined by a guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, saxophonist and a backing vocalist. Co-headliner ProgNation will perform a classic rock show with the music of YES, King Crimson and Genesis.