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Dapper as ever, Ferry ages well

Boston Opera House, Boston, August 5, 2019

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Closing in on 74 next month, Bryan Ferry has aged quite gracefully. He remains as dapper as ever, decked out in a suit and tie with mostly black hair intact.

But suffice to say that the sold-out crowd of about 2,600 was there to hear the music of the man behind Roxy Music, with Ferry enjoying a longstanding solo career. And he did not leave the faithful disappointed in a 105-minute set almost equally split between his own solo material and Roxy Music songs.

Ferry's voice could be described as an acquired taste for some. If you liked it then, you'd like it now. His vocals are none the worse for wear, although he did receive a lot of support from a backing male/female duo, which included the most exquisite Tawatha Agee. She went into the vocal stratospheres on a few songs ("Jealous Guy").

The band also included ace veteran British guitarist Chris Spedding and longstanding Ferry sax woman Jorja Chalmers, who took a slew of leads and was a powerful presence throughout. Ferry aided his own cause by blowing harp on a few songs as well.

Ferry and band had it all together on "In Every Dream Home a Heartache," where his slow, deliberate delivery for more than half the song eventually segued into everyone bringing the intensity to a head.

Several songs meandered along without highs or lows or excitement ("The Space Between" and "The 39 Steps," both played early on). All well done, but maybe not ideal for the concert setting.

But Ferry closed out the night with a powerhouse run starting with "More Than This," followed by "Avalon," Roxy's biggest commercial hit, "Love is the Drug," "Editions of You," Ferry's take on John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" and a most rousing tour de force of the joyful "Let's Stick Together" catapulted by Chalmers at the get go

The aforementioned songs were of different musical styles and tempos, but Ferry melded them together to end the night on a high with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Ferry showed there is beauty in aging.

Brooklyn-based singer Sophie Auster opened with a half-hour set highlighting her vocal prowess. Auster, accompanied by a lone keyboardist, tended to stay in the same mid- to slower tempo musical range, freeing up space for her vocals to shine. With numerous hand gesticulations, Auster fortunately had the voice to back it up.

© Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher • countrystandardtime@gmail.com

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