Bryan Ferry tour-closer cut short by technical glitch
April 1, 2017 11:12 PM
Bryan Ferry performs Saturday night at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh before a technical glitch ended the show early.
Bryan Ferry performs Saturday at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Bryan Ferry's first Pittsburgh show in 38 years was going beautifully — until it wasn’t.
Twenty-one songs into the set and four songs from the end of the show at Heinz Hall Saturday night, a technical glitch brought the 71-year-old British singer's U.S. tour to a premature finish.
The band was in the middle of the Roxy Music rocker "Virginia Plain," with the crowd on its feet, when the sound coming from the stage suddenly became nothing but a harsh buzz. The 10-piece band pressed on, seemingly unaware of the problem.
They walked off after the song, with the house lights still down and the stage lights up. After a five or 10-minute delay, with some fans chanting “Bryan! Bryan!,” violinist Marina Moore stepped out to bide time with a brief recital. Fans shushed each other to hear it. After a shorter delay, Ferry re-emerged with a mike to utter something that was inaudible, but his wave goodbye sent the message.
A Heinz Hall manager said the band's soundboard "was fried.”
Prior to the glitch, the elegant Ferry and his versatile band — covering the realm from glam-rock to his sophisticated, cocktail New Wave — played a stellar show that included such classics as "Slave to Love," "More than This" and "Love is the Drug," as well as deeper cuts like "Beauty Queen," "Ladytron" and "Stronger Through the Years" and a gorgeous, jazzy reinvention of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane." Another standout was “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” an unsettling art-rock piece from the Roxy Music catalog about suburban discontent.
Ferry was in fine, velvety voice, though naturally lacking some of the range he had in its prime. His soulful background singers covered some of those high notes. The true show-stealer was Australian saxophonist Jorja Chalmers, who looked and sounded like she stepped out of a film noir, playing with a moody grace suited to the delicacy of his music. Some of her finest playing came with Ferry offstage and four of the band members taking on the ambient instrumental “Tara.”
British guitar legend Chris Spedding was a rather low-key presence, taking a gritty solo on “Hurricane,” but handing most of the flashy leads to young Danish gun Jacob Quistgaard.
What did we miss? According to the set list, Ferry had three songs left: the old blues rave-up “Let's Stick Together,” his classic take on John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” and Roxy Music’s “Editions of You.”
As the song goes ... “more than this, you know there is nothing.”
Unlike the Lauryn Hill show in January, when she didn’t take the stage until 11:20 p.m., there was no clamor for refunds on the way out.
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