Interviews / Reviews
Boston Globe Review
13 November 2002
Bryan Ferry surrenders the depths of his soul
By Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff, 11/13/2002
Bryan Ferry show is not quite like a Roxy Music show, even if the singer is the same and the current 11-piece band includes many of those who toured with Roxy in 2001 and packed the FleetBoston Pavilion twice, playing stellar shows. Many of those fans evidently voted, somewhat curiously, in the negative when they considered last night's $55.50 ticket for what would be a 90-minute set at the Orpheum Theatre. The balcony was just about empty and the house was just more than half-full.
What did we get? Certainly, a show that did not have the firepower of Roxy, nor a show that had the hairpin twists and turns, the ever-dangerous balance of cacophony and elegance. But we did get something that still registered high and poignant on the adult-rock scale.
This was the Bryan Ferry revue, as much of a cabaret performance as rock show, and you couldn't miss the ache in the softer songs and the romantic yearning most everywhere else. He has shed virtually all the irony and camp that defined his early solo career.
Last night's concert began with something sad, quiet, and intimate with Ferry alone at the piano for ''The Only Face,'' singing ''I want to be alone/Just be myself/No one else'' as violinist Lucy Wilkins joined in. Other band members - pianist Colin Good, guitarists Chris Spedding and Mick Green, among others joined bit by bit, as Ferry constructed a towering set of ineffable melancholia, highlighted by Bob Dylan's ''Don't Think Twice, It's All R ight'' and ''Carrickfergus,'' which featured a gorgeous harp-driven melody and Ferry's sigh, ''My days are numbered/Come on you young men and lay me down.''
Are we on the edge of the cliff yet? Drummer Paul Thompson finally came on for ''Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,'' and registered a kick drum thump (yay!) to provide the pulse for the snarling-as-it-gets ''The Thrill of It All.''
Ferry's three singer-showgirls also appeared, one of whom, Katie Turner, has been named by the London tabs as Ferry's new squeeze. (Ferry is separated from his wife of more than 20 years.) Ferry, still sexy at 56, is bolstered by his sense of style and his image, which is suave and dignified but approachable and warm.
He scored with several Roxy numbers - his definitive version of John Lennon's ''Jealous Guy,'' ''Love is the Drug,'' ''My Only Love,'' and ''Do the Strand '' - and closed with ''Let's Stick Together,'' a particularly interesting choice given his marital status.
At: The Orpheum Theatre, last night