This performance of “Heroes” was recorded at the Hurricane Festival in Scheeßel, Germany, on 25 June 2004 during the Reality tour.
Originally scheduled to play in 24 countries over a ten-month period, the Reality tour was curtailed after the Hurricane Festival performance as a result of Bowie being diagnosed with an acutely blocked artery that required an angioplasty procedure. In 2016, bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, who was on stage with Bowie, recalled what happened at the end of the tour:
“[At the second-to-last show, in Prague] I remember we were playing the song “Reality.” He was supposed to be singing at the very end of the song, and he wasn’t. I was kind of watching him from behind. Everyone was soaking wet because it was really hot in there, but his shirt was just drenched. He was just soaking wet and holding the microphone out with his left hand straight out. And he was just standing there, posturing, but not singing. And I was thinking, “Why is he not singing the last bit?”
Then he looked over his shoulder at me and he was just white, pale, translucent almost. His eyes were wide and he was kind of gasping for air a little bit, having trouble catching his breath. And then I remember looking down at the audience, and I could see their expressions in the front row, looking up at him, had changed. They went from joy and dancing to looking kind of concerned. At that point, his bodyguard and helper guy saw the same thing. He ran onto the stage and took him off. … We went back on and played a few more songs. He asked for a stool and he sat down. He just hated to cancel shows. There were some nights he was so sick he had a bucket on the side of the stage where he’d go between songs to puke, but he never wanted to cancel anything. And we didn’t know he was having a heart attack until four or five days later.
[At the last show, at the Hurricane festival in Hamburg, Germany] I remember walking down the stairs behind him after we finished. When he got to the bottom, he actually collapsed. He was so tired and so sick. They rushed him to the hospital and we sat and waited in Hamburg for a few days, and that was the end. The last show.”