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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Concert Review: Bryan Ferry at the State Theatre

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

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Bryan Ferry hasn’t performed in Cleveland since 1994's Mamouna tour, so the buzz around Playhouse Square was as big as Kate Moss' gargantuan face (seen on the cover of Ferry's latest album, last year's Olympia) that lit up the screen behind the stage.

The 12-piece band included Roxy Music alumni Paul Thompson on drums and rock veteran Chris Spedding on guitar.

Another guitarist and a saxophonist balanced out the time capsule, while Ferry shifted from one keyboard to another. When he was front and center, he often played the harmonica as two dancers, four backup singers, and the imagery used onscreen made the sharply suited Englishman come off like a seasoned ringmaster of a high-class circus.

Ferry opened with "The Main Thing" and paid hefty tribute to Bob Dylan with three songs, including "All Along the Watchtower."

"If There Is Something" from Roxy Music’s debut was very well received, as was "Casanova," "Avalon," and "Love Is the Drug."

The screens were brilliantly used during "Oh Yeah." "Lets Stick Together" was another highlight. And covering John Lennon’s "Jealous Guy" is always a brave move, but last night's version almost topped the original.

The Phenomenal Handclap band opened the evening with a set of synth-pop that gave a nod to Blondie but with a modern twist. —Karen Laney

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