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Bryan Ferry live!

| October 12, 2011

As the singer of Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry’s already earned seminal status in the glam, art-rock and new-wave worlds, though he continues to make sophisticated strides in his solo career. Touring behind his first non-covers collection in eight years, Olympia (Virgin), marks a suave and soulful evolution for the veteran, who through two hours, spellbinded Chicago’s Civic Opera House on the 11th.
The elegant nature of the venue fit perfectly within Ferry’s stylish pop/rock blend, which spanned the man through today, along with several well-tailored covers. Roxy Music was the first point of business in his 40-year flashback via the suave synths of “The Main Thing,” followed by the soothingly hypnotic solo songs “I Put A Spell On You,” and “Slave To Love,” alongside a sophisticated stab at Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” (one of multiple selections from 2007’s Dylanesque).
No matter what musical hat he was wearing, Ferry appeared just as debonair as the day he debuted, sauntering through his own “Don’t Stop The Dance,” treating Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” as a beautiful lullaby, and glamming up his delivery across Roxy’s “If There Is Something.” Yet it was Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane” that took charge of the first set, not only because of Ferry’s flawless delivery, but also his six-piece band’s ability to put a seductive bounce in its step.
After an intermission, the 66-year-old unfurled two of his best new cuts, sounding absolutely ageless on the charging “You Can Dance” and casually crooning his way through “Reason Or Rhyme.” Yet it was myriad Roxy memories that truly ushered in a spirit of celebration, from the sublime “Avalon” to the gliding pop pleasantry “My Only Love” and the sputtering “Love Is The Drug.”
The last three songs found Ferry switching back to his personal spin on others’ oldies, starting with Wilbert Harrison’s R&B staple “Let’s Stick Together” and transitioning tenderly towards John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.” Throw in the rarely performed Sam & Dave soul standard “Hold On (I’m Coming),” and Ferry didn’t just demonstrate a mastery of his own material, but the ability to browse all the greats that came before him, concurrently serving as one of this century’s greatest innovators and supreme interpreters.
— Andy Argyrakis

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Category: Featured, Live Reviews, Weekly

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  1. Robert Gordon says:

    Great review of an amazing show. It had been more than 10 years since a Ferry show in Chicago but it was well worth the wait.

  2. kate mckinnon says:

    I loved the show as well. I was at the last Chicago Ferry show as well, when he toured Mamouna and introduced us all to Combustible Edison.

    This one was.. glorious.