Los Angeles: Roxy Music rejoins and satisfies in LA; courtesy of Dallas - Tue 7th Aug

Los Angeles: Roxy Music rejoins and satisfies in LA; courtesy of Dallas
07 August 2001

08/08/2001 By Oscar Martínez / The Dallas Morning News

LOS ANGELES – Feather boas and go-go boots were optional Monday night at the Greek Theatre, but a decadently delightful stroll down memory lane was not.

The trip came courtesy of Roxy Music, the venerable '70s glam-rock pioneers and '80s gentlemen-rockers who were wrapping up their first U.S. concert tour since 1983, when they disbanded at the height of their commercial success with Avalon.

Before the sophisticated stylings of that great record, however, there was another Roxy: a primal wall of noise that fused screaming guitars, gin-joint jazz and frenetic synthesizers into a glamorous celebration of sound. This side of the band sounded as fresh as it must have three decades ago.

Joined by eight other musicians, the core trio of Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay delivered a spectacular showcase of the glorious noise and tender ballads that have enshrined them in the art-rock pantheon.

Mr. Manzanera has always been on the guitar-god short list, and he didn't let his disciples down – igniting the crowd with masterful solos early ("Re-make/Re-model" and "Ladytron") and often ("Both Ends Burning" and "Out of the Blue").

The purple-suited, golden-saxed Mr. Mackay belted out all the right notes on "Song for Europe," "Jealous Guy" and the melancholic instrumental lullaby "Tara" with violinist Lucy Wilkins.

Roxy dabbled with the self-indulgent side of art rock on a few meandering guitar and synth solos, but a worshipful audience forgave them their near sins.

And then there's Mr. Ferry, as timeless as a simple tune, magically defying nature with his strong voice and still-ever-so-cool hair. With a wave of his hand, the open-air theater in the Hollywood Hills morphed into an intimate Berlin cabaret, replete with dancing girls in red feathers bathed in a shimmering red light.

The silver lamé suit didn't materialize until midset, when Mr. Ferry articulated what amounts to the Roxy Music ethos – dubious morality ("Mother of Pearl") and sinister sexuality ("In Every Dream Home a Heartache") mixed with a despairing romanticism ("Oh Yeah," "Dance Away") and, of course, the quest for the hipster's holy grail: the never-ending party ("Both Ends Burning," "Love Is the Drug").

The crowd cheered the familiar strains of "Avalon" and "Jealous Guy," but the enthusiasm wasn't limited to those radio-friendly gems. The satisfaction came from the well-paced show as a whole, as the influential band redefined itself yet again by rocking with power and grace 30 years after its formation.

By the final encore, there was nothing left for Mr. Ferry to do but stare at the stars and croon "For Your Pleasure" – a magical bandleader serenading a cool California crowd on a cool California night.

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