Bryan Ferry–Live at the Tabernacle

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I’ve been interested in Roxy Music for many years, as well as the pursuits of its various members over the years in other solo or group projects.  The band’s appeal for me was surprisingly their more pop, melodic songs, as their more adventurous songs never really connected.  In other words, the high point was 1983’s The High Road, a four song EP with two stunning covers of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane” and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.”  In any case, a friend of friend couldn’t attend this concert by the band’s lead singer/leader, and I was the fortunate recipient of a free opportunity to see one of rock’s influential but relatively obscure artists.

Bryan Ferry concert review

Of the 23 songs, 17 were Roxy’s, four were from Ferry’s solo years, and two were the precious covers of the songs mentioned earlier.  The crowd was unlike me, welcoming the opening chords of each song, while I was mostly identifying songs as familiar or far less so.  Still, I loved the concert, primarily for the performance of the 7 piece band and two backup singers.  They provided a very even interpretation of the songs, making the whole of songs released over 30 years sound as fresh as a stunning double album released last year.

The most enjoyable of these was sax player Jorja Chalmers, who added a soulful, jazzy and energetic element whenever she was featured, which was frequently.  Always a fan of the rock lead guitar, Jacob Quistgaard often contributed a punch to the songs, as well as journeyman guitarist Chris Spedding, who made “Like A Hurricane” all that it should be.

As for Ferry himself, at 71, we should all hope to be in as good a shape.  He’s retained the features, physique and style that has defined his public life, coupled with a visible appreciation for his audience and exuding the charm of a classy sophisticate.   His voice seemed to gain strength the course of the evening, disappointing in some spots where whispered words replaced what used to be fully voiced, and his trademark tremelo was sometimes less pronounced than in his recordings.  Still, you take your rock legends as you get them, and he delivered a great performance, regardless of age.

The Main Thing
Slave to Love
Oh Yeah
A Waste Land / Windswept
Out of the Blue
Bete Noire
Stronger Through the Years
Like a Hurricane
Take a Chance with Me
In Every Dream Home a Heartache
If There is Something
More Than This
Love is the Drug
Virgin Plain
Both Ends Burning
Jealous Guy
Editions of You

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