A friend let me know he had gotten me a ticket to see Bryan Ferry. First thought was “that guy is still doing it?”. Second thought was “Cool, I gotta see this guy because this may be it”. A solid outlook, what with the recent passing of rock icons such as David Bowie, Prince and Ronnie James Dio and the fact that as artists get older, see Rush, they just can’t tour as much.
To get ready for the show I looked at the set list so I could brush up. Solo work, cover songs, & Roxy Music stuff certifies Bryan Ferry a prolific singer-songwriter for sure. We head into the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, an outdoor venue on Boston Harbor, under a tent, with a seating capacity of around 5000 which, at show time, is maybe 2/3 full. The first thing that jumps out is, much to my delight, a schedule for the evenings activities is posted and there it is, Bryan Ferry – 8:30-10:00. great news as it’s a Sunday (school) night.
He starts off with Avonmore, the title track from his last studio release, at 8:30. It’s immediately apparent the band is big and tight/thorough and seasoned. The sound is aces. This writer counted 11 people onstage, including Bryan. There we’re guitars, keyboards, percussion, violins, & background vocalists a plenty. The star of the show, though, was saxophonist Jorja Chalmers. As a fan of BF/Roxy music you know the sax is front and center and she delivered on all accounts.
The first section included Slave to Love & Don’t Stop the Dance which let to a few Roxy Music numbers including Ladytron. Then came his cover of Bab Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”, if you haven’t seen/heard the live version he is doing now check it out. A beautiful rendition that included stark instrumentation and exceptional harmonica work by the man himself.
After a couple solo tunes came the 9 song Roxy music portion of the set capping off with More than This, Avalon, and Love is the Drug. After a short break he returned with a cover of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” and show closer Editions of You, which finishes at, you guessed it, 10:00!
All in all a great show, even if most of the songs were shortened to accommodate the 90 minute set time. I feel better now that I got to see Bryan Ferry, who knows when he will return to the States.