Bryan Ferry @ The Anthem – August 13th 2019

Bryan Ferry @ The Anthem in Washington, DC on August 13th, 2019

Bryan Ferry has been an icon of cool, sophisticated rock music since his debut with Roxy Music nearly 50 years ago. The art rock luminaries were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March of this year, and while they only reunited as a group for a single performance at the induction ceremony, Ferry has embarked on an extensive North American tour this summer backed by his current band. Last Tuesday this tour brought them to The Anthem in Washington, DC, where they played to a sold out audience.

At 73, Ferry shows very little sign of slowing down. While he chooses now to schedule most of his shows with a day off between them to relax and recuperate, it is clear that he is still putting his all into his performance. Taking turns between his standing mic stand and a keyboard, Ferry moves with an energy and effortlessness that artists half his age would envy, and his voice sounds as good as ever.

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With Roxy in the headlines and no new album to support, Ferry chose to base the tour around a celebration of Avalon, the group’s final album from 1982. While he didn’t perform the album from start to finish, the setlist did feature eight of the ten tracks on the album (all but the final two, “True to Life” and “Tara”) spread throughout the night, along with other highlights from throughout the band’s catalog (including Roxy standards like “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” “Love Is the Drug,” and “Do the Strand,” and a handful of deeper cuts like “Out of the Blue,” “My Only Love,” and “Editions of You”). Ferry’s extensive solo catalog was represented by two covers – Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Stick Together” and Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” – and a handful of individual tracks from three more of his albums, Bête Noire (the title track, “Bête Noire”), Mamouna (“The 39 Steps”), and three songs from Boys and Girls (“Slave to Love,” “Don’t Stop the Dance,” and “Boys and Girls”). Still, even without the rest of Roxy Music there, this is very unapologetically a Roxy Music set. It was clear that no one in the crowd minded.

Ferry has completed his east coast run for this tour, but he still has a series of west coast stops remaining over the next few weeks. For fans of Ferry, and of Roxy Music, this is a show not to miss.

Bryan Ferry setlist

The Main Thing
The Space Between
The 39 Steps
Out of the Blue
Slave to Love
While My Heart Is Still Beating
Don’t Stop the Dance
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Boys and Girls
Dance Away
My Only Love

Take a Chance With Me
Bête Noire
To Turn You On
In Every Dream Home a Heartache
If There Is Something
More Than This
Love Is the Drug
Editions of You
Do the Strand
Let’s Stick Together

Photos © Matt Condon

Bryan Ferry

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