Boston Review From The Gazzette - Wed 13th Nov

Ferry delivers a thrill at the Orpheum by Bill Brotherton Thursday, November 14, 2002 Bryan Ferry, Orpheum, Tuesday night. In a year when fellow old men of British rock 'n' roll Elvis Costello, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney all released new CDs, Bryan Ferry's ``Frantic'' slipped under the radar. It's the best of the bunch. Tuesday night at the Orpheum, Ferry delivered an oddly paced yet entertaining 90-minute show that spotlighted the best of ``Frantic'' and was surprisingly lean on tunes from Roxy Music, the influential band he founded in the early '70s. Although last year's Roxy reunion shows were better, Ferry consistently hit the mark with his songs about lost love, lost dreams and unrequited love. Ferry started on a quiet note, sitting alone at a piano and applying his quavery croon to ``The Only Face.'' With each song, another band member appeared; before long the tiny Orpheum stage was crowded with equipment and Ferry's 11 band members. The women in Ferry's band are all young and beautiful, the men older and, well, less beautiful - except, of course, no one is prettier than Ferry himself. At age 57, he still personifies elegance and style. The first third of the show featured acoustic treatments of cover songs, including a brilliant version of Bob Dylan's ``Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'' and the classic ``Falling in Love Again.'' A swinging big-band treatment of the Platters' ``Smoke Gets in Your Eyes'' got the baby boomer-age fans out of their seats. The middle section - uptempo Ferry originals - kicked off in high style with Roxy's ``The Thrill of It All.'' Backed by three young female vocalists in white pantsuits and matching broad-brimmed hats, Ferry was at his leering, lounge-lizard best, pumping his arms, shaking his hips and clapping his hands, looking like the long-lost third wild-and-crazy Czechoslovakian brother from ``Saturday Night Live.'' ``My Only Love'' - with a scorching duet by guitarist Chris Spedding and vocalist Sarah Brown - and an extended take on the instrumental ``Tara'' from Roxy's classic ``Avalon'' LP sounded fine. The seldom-played ``Tokyo Joe'' was a nice, chugging surprise. ``Fool for Love,'' the best song on ``Frantic,'' was a high point, Ferry's voice strong and smooth. The songs that everyone came to hear - ``Slave to Love,'' ``Jealous Guy,'' ``Love is the Drug'' and ``Do the Strand'' - created a fever pitch. The encore of breakup songs - Dylan's ``It's All Over Now, Baby Blue'' and ``Let's Stick Together'' - ended too abruptly. Ferry recently separated from his wife of 20 years, but the lyrics to ``Let's Stick Together'' (``The marriage vow is very sacred . . . Let's stick together'') seemed less aimed at the missus and more of a plea to his fans, who Tuesday night were more than willing to stick by Ferry.

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