Bryan Ferry's Glitzy History Lesson at McCaw Hall

Comments

1
Slave to Love was the ONLY thing he covered from Boys and Girls? I feel oddly ripped off at this news as though I were actually at the concert or something. Good review.
2
Bill Murray's cover version from "Lost in Translation" seems rather prescient now, doesn't it?

Excellent review of a good show. The band kicked ass.
3
"If There Was Something" was the highlight for me, even without Ferry's once-magnificent warble. It was one of the few numbers that was spare enough to let the groove relax a little -- the band seemed too tightly wound. Maybe that's just me and my bias against shreddin' guitar solos and saxophony. "Avalon" was good. "In Every Dream Home" was wonderful in the scary buildup but kind of boring in the freakout (not unlike the record, I guess).

I really liked the stripped "More Than This", myself, though I wish it had been longer. I really wish he'd done "Let's Stick Together" here.

I gotta say, I don't like rock shows at venues like McCaw. Too echoey, too big and pillowy a bottom. I like drums that thud and crack, not poof and rumble, if that makes any sense -- she's a really good drummer but the sound did her no favors. And the keyboards sounded nicely atmospheric but the guitars and bass were boring. The backing vocalists were the stars, not the sax lady.

That romantic interlude with sax, piano and acoustic guitar, while Ferry was off taking a breather or something, was excruciatingly awful.

I had fun, though. The key to listening to a show like this is to listen with your memory, not your ears. It's a hell of a catalog. And he is still the coolest dude in pop. Morrissey eat your heart out, Bryan Ferry's got the best clothes and the best moves of any white singer of his era. Not even Bowie holds the mike as well.
4
What, no "Do the Strand"??!
5
I think Bryan must have thought the pipes weren't up to the 2-song encore of Running Wild/Jealous Guy that BC got. Too bad; 1 song was anticlimactic. My big set list gripe is that the "Can't Let Go" tour did not feature "Can't Let Go". But he played "In Every Dream Home a Heartache", which I totally did not expect.

McCaw Hall was unbelievably hot - around 80+ degrees up in the balcony. Someone forgot to turn on the AC early in the day when the forecast said 70 degrees and sun. The only people dressed appropriately were the drummer and backup singers. Still doesn't excuse the somnolence of the oldsters seated by me.

But I'm really glad I got to see one of my idols live once - he was in far better shape than most 68 year old crooners (I can't think of any others). I'm still kicking myself for not driving 250 miles to Chicago in 1983 to see Roxy.
6
Gotta agree with Fnarf on the venue - it was particularly bad where we were in the "boxes" attached to the side of the building. Very muddled, not dynamic, and I don't think there was anything the crowd could really do to bring more energy to the show with that vast open expanse. I'm surprised they couldn't find a bigger (only seats 2,900) and better (acoustically) venue.

As for the heat, someone really should get fired for that...
7
Oh, I almost forgot my celebrity sighting: DAN SAVAGE.
8
Bryan Ferry is elegance defined. Aging with incredible grace (Mr. Mick Jagger, please take note), he was the epitome of the professional crooner with an impressive back catalog of songs that date back 40 years. He has been a rock idol of mine since I discovered Roxy Music back in the day and last night's show didn't disappoint.

The only off moment in the evening was the oddly incongruous opening act, Dawn Landes. She is very talented, but a singer/songwriter along the lines of Shawn Colvin as an opening act? Fine for Prairie Home Companion, but not Bryan Ferry. She fumbled a couple of times, including a painful crash and burn of a song that she had to stop playing about one minute in because of a goof up, admitting to the audience that it was "the second time I've done that!" Really? You are opening for a rock god and you fuck up...twice? Mercifully, Ferry's smooth performance made us all forget that moment.

It was a great concert for any Roxy Music and Ferry fan, and at 68, he proved he is aging with grace and style.
9
well, brain ferry fans are terrible tippers, i can tell ya that much.
10
@5, @6 -- the guy sitting behind me interrupted his exhaustive dissertation on the merits of American football vs. rugby vs. "Australian No-Rules" to mention that he was at the Vancouver show too, and it was hot there as well, because Bryan Ferry demanded it so. Something about old man bones and circulation, I guess.

You're never going to get a super-animated crowd in an opera house with expensive tickets. That's the most I've ever paid for a show in my life.
11
@10: well, i'm just sayin' that if you're going to sit through the whole show with your hands over your ears looking super grumpy and not moving a muscle, stay home, grampa. it wasn't even loud.

and how the fuck would mr. Canadian knowitall know that?
12
No, there was no Do The Strand, which was unusual for Ferry. Given the set list, I had noooo complaints. The sound was ATROCIOUS however. And #10, if you live long enough, you will pay more.

Savage's hubband Terry's suit was just lovely. The highlight of the evening!
13
Thanks for a more flattering review than that Seattle times monstrosity. You forgot "You can dance" (maybe something else too?) which was good sleazy fun. Let's not forget this is freaking Bryan Ferry we're talking about! He makes whatever genre special (when he isn't practically inventing it, that is). His voice isn't always strong--he's 68!--but anyone who has a chance should dish out the $$ and go see him. I personally love all his periods and don't knock the sappy stuff... "Oh Yeah" is just a perfect, blissful pop song and he nailed it. And--his moves, dammit! Loved the show...
14
Quoted from a Facebook thread about the temp:

Bryan Ferry's lighting designer had McCaw Hall's HVAC system turned off. This unfortunately happens all the time. They do it so the haze in the air hangs. It makes the light beams pop. HVAC systems suck all of the haze out of the room.