Roxy Music brings its brand of English glam to the Chase Center

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Reunited for a 50th anniversary tour and performing in San Francisco for the first time since a pair of 1972 Winterland dates, Roxy Music left no doubt that their British flair still transcends universal boundaries during their set at the Chase Center Monday night.

Forty years after their eighth and final studio album Avalon achieved platinum status in 1982, the tour finds lead singer and lead songwriter Bryan Ferry with guitarist Phil Manzanera, saxophonist Andy Mackay and drummer Paul Thompson taking their act on the road for the first time since their induction in the Rock & Roll of Fame in 2019.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Roxy Music performs on their 50th Anniversary Tour.

While Ferry became equally known for his solo hits, his bandmates have mostly gone under the radar with the exception of multi-talented Brian Eno, who went on to a successful career as a solo artist and collaborator. with the likes of David Bowie, U2, Coldplay and David Byrne.

Manzanera, 71, co-produced David Gilmour On an island album in 2006 and played in Gilmour’s touring band in addition to continuing to produce quality art rock and jazz fusion material among other genres. A highly sought-after session musician, 76-year-old Mackay has performed with Duran Duran, Mott the Hoople, John Mellencamp and Paul McCartney to name a few.

©MATTHEW BECKER
Bryan Ferry performs on Roxy Music’s 50th Anniversary Tour.

Arriving for the show on his 77th birthday, the dapper Ferry has always been the face of the band, but throughout the night the musicianship of the whole band was impeccable. Supported by seven additional musicians and three backup vocalists, the core trio of Ferry, Manzanera and Mackay attracted attention, but there was plenty to do.

Performing 17 songs from seven of their eight studio albums in an all-too-brief 95-minute set, Roxy capitalized on the Chase Center’s immaculate acoustics to take audiences on a trip down memory lane. Opening with “Re-Make/Re-Model” from their 1972 self-titled debut album with Ferry taking center stage behind a Nord electric keyboard, little time was wasted before showcasing Mackay’s sax expertise. to the sweet sound as large video monitors behind the stage flashed the first images of the group with much longer hair and glamorous makeup.

©MATTHEW BECKER
Guitarist Phil Manzanera and axophonist Andy Mackay perform on Roxy Music’s 50th Anniversary Tour.

A few songs later, extended guitar and saxophone jams to the funky, frenetic “Ladytron” from the same album helped set it apart from some of its milder predecessors. “Oh yeah”, from the 1980s Flesh + Blood was a perfect song to match the colorful imagery of drive-in days with its nostalgic lyrics.”Driving you home from a movie show/So in tune with the sounds of my car/There’s a band playing on the radio.”

The ominous intro to “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” a devious tale of sex with a blow-up doll, led to the inevitable crescendo at its conclusion that saw Ferry leave the stage as the magnificent keyboard instrumental “Tara 1982’s swan song “Avalon” served as a brief interlude before the wispy love song “My Only Love.”

About an hour into the show, but clearly saving their best for last, it was the final third of Roxy’s setlist that provided a significant portion of their most recognizable material. The fan-favorite “Dance Away” that led to the melodic “More Than This” and “Avalon” was both well-received and emblematic of the short, barely three-minute tracks that established Roxy’s hit machine.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Roxy Music performs on their 50th Anniversary Tour.

Perhaps their most famous composition, “Love Is The Drug” from 1975 Mermaid, had the crowd fully engaged, singing most happily to the friendly uptempo dance beat. Many have mistaken it for a Talking Heads song, but it was released two years before the Heads even debuted. Closing without an encore, Roxy Music ended the show with screaming keyboards featured on “Editions of You” and the upbeat jazzy “Do The Strand,” both from their second album, 1973. At your service by then, a full-fledged party had broken out at the Chase Center.

While the brevity of the show’s 95-minute run time may have been lacking given the quality of Roxy Music’s extensive catalog, every moment was still a pleasure-inducing experience given how rare it is to see the band live. , as well as their impeccable skills. We’d all be lucky if the nostalgia for the 50th anniversary reunion served as some kind of inspiration for the band to spend more time on the road, or maybe even create some new material.

Roxy Music concludes its 50th anniversary tour on Wednesday night with a stop at The Forum in Inglewood.

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