Roxy Music came back to Boston Saturday July
21 for their second show, or really, their first show...this was
the first show for which tickets went on sale and so,...and so tonight
they showed why we need to leave our (dream) home stereo entertainment
centers and venture forth to listen to music live.
The show started at 9:15 with a longer clip from South Downs,
then the party chatter, which appeared to be echoed, or was it the
echo of the chatter of what appeared to be a capacity crowd. Chatter,chatter-then
Re-Make/Re-Model. Something seemed off, though,and Bryan,
who starts the song upstage on the keyboards, didn't appear to time
coming down correctly. He seemed to laugh as he did make his way
down, and there were enough of us in the audience to keep the chant
Things seemed to tighten up as the set went on. Street Life..good
and the audience was up for it. It looked like the set would be
the same, and Bryan, who has a stand with what can only be assumed
is the song lists (and words?) would turn pages as the songs continued.
Ladytron - audience loves it, great hand for Phil. While
My heart Is Still Beating - crowd cheer even when the song begins.
Out of the Blue - an even better version tonight, seems longer
too. But it's clearer, sharper as well. Lucy is loudly cheered when
the song ends. A Song For Europe - sure, we're Americans,
but we still sway back and forth, enthralled by his voice, even
when it seems to get lost near the end (must have been some American
sound engineer saying , hey that's not English, cut that sound).
My Only Love - again, seemed longer than the last show,
can't say for sure, but very good nonetheless. And the crowd continues
it's habit of giving a standing cheer at the end of a song (then
demurely sitting down for the next song - with a few standing up
and dancing ). Then, what spooky sound is that? Someone sitting
near me who I had been talking to before the show asks "is
that Dream Home?" "Yes!" I cry. In every Dream
Home a Heartache had been added to the set. Swirling red images
on the back screen only heightened the real creepiness to this song.
It was great. I think Bryan knew not enough people would be familiar
with the killer line in the song,so he sang it, but I saw quite
a few jump up and shout it with him - "but you blew my mind".
Oh Yeah - probably the first real sing along song of the
night, this song was a real hit on Boston radio, and has real emotional
resonance with the crowd, everyone stands and cheers at the end
- and stays standing for Both Ends Burning, which is both
a fun song,as well as a real hoot for people as they realize that,
hey, there are go-go dancers up on the stage. Bryan tries to play
a harmonica(?) during this song. Laughs and puts it away when it's
obvious the sound isn't getting picked up. Song gets a huge ovation.
Tara - sometimes you wish the crowd would make more noise,
sometimes you wish that people would go silent - and the latter
would be my wish during this beautiful song. Avalon - another
song that is much better tonight - plus the move to Dance Away
is much better. And people love Dance Away, singing along with the
"dance away,dance away" part, standing and swaying back
and forth; and then the cheering starts for the next song - Jealous
Guy. John Lennon is still remembered and loved.
Editions of You - crowd is really dancing now - some dance
pogo style, not much room for anything else. And we all do the "wooo".
(No Virginia Plain). Everyone on stage seems very happy with the
response tonight.. so there's more!
Love Is the Drug - arms of the crowd pump out as we all
sing,"Love is,love is the drug". Do the Strand
- Bryan is having a great time, and seems to give the feathered
dancers an especially long lingering leer as he accepts the crowd's
applause at the end (you naughty boy!). For Your Pleasure
- yes,we were pleased.
Few more notes - so obvious that the crowd was so much better
than Tuesday, that Bryan seemed to play with us, taking those extra
big, showy kind of bows, repeatedly. And then cupping his hand to
his ear to get the crowd to roar even louder, or going off to the
sides to get those people into the action - and they stood and roared
back their approval of that move.
Even the weather was perfect - the stage and most of the seats
are covered by a big tent, but if it's raining it's just kind of
miserable at this facility. A fairly hot day led to a warm evening,with
gorgeous views of the harbor for all to see as we walked around
before the show. I have it as a 95 minute set. I loved it. And I
think they loved the response from the crowd.
weve waited some 18 years for these folks
to tour again. And though it was a spectacularly glitzy, sometimes
stunningly progressive show, one would think that more than 90 minutes
of musical strolling down memory lane (including encore) was called
for. Oh well, at least theyre back hopefully for good.
This was my first exposure to Roxy Music, and Im thankful
to report that this concert was much more substantative than simply
watching a nattily clad Bryan Ferry croon away plaintively at center
stage. Of course, we had plenty of that in this greatest-hits package,
but the nine-piece backing band including guitarist Phil
Manzanera really fleshed things out and propelled the performance
to stunning heights.
Joining Ferry and Manzanera from prior Roxy incarnations was sax
player Andy Mackay and drummer Paul Thompson. Assuming the Eddie
Jobson slot on violin and keyboards was the young Lucy Wilkins,
whose passionate solo during "Out of the Blue" brought
the crowd to its feet.
This was a flashy, big-time production, complete with rear-screen
projections, creative lighting effects and four dancing girls. Roxy
has a very retro-hip, very "British" vibe to its formalized
romantic style of progressive rock. Of course, the suave Ferry held
court (through various suitcoat changes), delivering the likes of
"Avalon," "Both Ends Burning," "Street
Life" and the requisite "Love is the Drug" in fine
voice. Creative instrumental passages led by Wilkins, Mackay, Manzanera
and pianist Colin Good did more than enough to soothe the proggy
beast in this reviewer.
Might some new studio Roxy be in the cards? Perhaps a live album
from this tour? We can only hope. Meanwhile, catch em live,
if you can.
John Collinge, Progression
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