Music played their first show in America in
18 years tonight -- and I am extremely grateful to have been there.
It was an extraordinary show -- my first time seeing them ever!
That fact notwithstanding and even though this is the first time
I`ve posted to this forum, I`ve been a fan for *many* years. I still
have the cassette tape that I made of their concert on the King
Biscuit Flower Hour -- from their first tour, with Eno! I couldn`t
have been much older than 14 or 15 at the time. It made a huge impression
on me and was a direct influence on me musically in many ways.
I deliberately stayed away from reviews and advance reports of
this tour so that I could just experience it straight up. I`m glad
I did. Looking over the set list reports here, now that it`s over,
it looks like it was pretty much the same show as in Toronto.
Here are the highlights:
I had remarked to my wife just before the start of the show that
I hoped they would do Re-make/Re-model -- and as you all know, they
opened with it! I nearly wet my pants (well, not really, but it
was one of the most exciting rock `n` roll moments I`ve ever witnessed)!
Ladytron -- Phil was just completely out of his mind. Excellent,
over-the-top, skronkin` guitar!
Out of the Blue -- a timeless classic, of course, but Lucy Wilkins`s
violin solo at the end was nothing short of astonishing. I mean...
not only was it LETTER PERFECT in it`s faithfulness to the original,
she just TORE into it with such ferocity that it literally took
my breath away. It was, in fact (and I can`t believe I`m saying
this), *better than the record!* I guess that is about the highest
praise one could possibly give, especially considering the original
is one of the greatest moments in rock `n` roll. ;)
I know a lot of you are ambivalent about songs like "Oh Yeah"
and "Avalon" but they have a lot of sentimental value
for my wife and I and the concert was our 16th anniversary present
to each other, so we were delighted to hear them. I think more than
half the crowd was slow dancing. It was quite touching, actually.
Your mileage may vary, as the saying goes.
The Toronto Sun review mentions Avalon`s "water droplet"
visuals as being similar to effects used by DePeche Mode. Well,
I _didn`t see_ DePeche Mode this time around, so this was new to
me and quite effective. In fact, this may have been the most impressively
choreographed visuals of the evening. A film loop of single droplet
for the verses opened up into multiple drops for the choruses and
then back again on the verses. It was all completely seamless and
beautifully underscored the way the music "breathed."
Well done, whoever put that one together.
The fire visuals on Both Ends Burning were also quite effective.
The band really wailed on that one, too. The entire place was on
Dance Away was never one of my favorite Roxy tunes, but it was
beautifully layered and cheese-free here. Ferry was in excellent
voice throughout the show, and gave this a particularly nice delivery.
Jealous Guy -- well, what can you say? You`d have to be made of
stone to not be moved it, and Ferry completely owns the song. He
inhabits it in a way that pays tribute to the original, and to Lennon,
without being maudlin. To paraphrase James Ellroy, Bryan Ferry doesn`t
just deliver a song, he drives it to your house and installs it
-- and that was never more true than here. There wasn`t a dry eye
in the house.
Editions Of You and Virginia Plain -- by this point, I was just
completely giddy. What a great band, what great songs, what a privilege
it is to finally see these living legends in the flesh.
Love is the Drug -- perfect!
Do the Strand -- f***ing perfect! ;)
And then the long goodbye. At first, I thought it was a little
anti-climactic after Do the Strand, but as each member left the
stage one by one, until finally that beautiful sheer curtain was
drawn across the stage, it made perfect sense. Such class these
One quibble about this tour: I don`t know why Paul Thompson hasn`t
been billed in the press as one of the original members. Seems like
quite an oversight.
Anyway, the crowd was *very* enthusiastic all the way through --
many, many standing ovations -- and it was obvious that the band
knew it and responded in kind. They were having a very good time
up there. You will too.
If you haven`t got your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?