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Roxy Music Reunion Tour
Well, I got a chance to see Roxy Music at the Concord Pavillion (San Francisco Bay area) on their first tour in 18 years. It was a real treat to see the old masters get together and do their thing without missing a beat. My wife and our friends really enjoyed the show. This is probably the last concert I will attend where I am one of the youngest people there (age 32). Most of these folks were in their forties and fifties...for the most part very polite and friendly people who appreciate a good show. And a finely tailored show it was. They covered their older more experimental songs with a lot of enthusiasm. Phil Manzanera's solo on 'Ladytron' just blew me away. He had three guitars during the show: a white Fender Strat, a black Les Paul, and a red and white slanted angled guitar that I could not identify. He favored the Les Paul for most of the show. His style was exceptionally refined and precise...this is what a player with over forty years of experience should sound like. Chris Spedding was the other guitarist. he wasn't given as much of spotlight but he played with a solidity and mastery that was very impressive. He plays a guitar with a steel body.
The other musicians played their parts with great professionalism and highly evolved craftsmanship. Andy Mackay on his saxes (an alto, tenor, and two sopranos) carried out some lovely work in 'A Song for Europe'. Paul Thompson on drums was an architect of the essential rhythmic framework. He did so with such subtlety. Zev Katz on bass was very consistent with keeping the groove. Sara brown on backup vocals was just astonishing especially on a guitar/vocal duet with Spedding on 'My Only Love'. There was another backup singer and a percussionist. There was a keyboard player and violinist who got a standing ovation for her efforts. A pianist named Colin Good who was fabulous. And of course, Bryan Ferry with his tremolo accented crooning and lounge-lizard schtick. He really does have a knack for hand-picking some of the finest musical talent around. And that is what a class-act like Roxy Music is about...talent. Not one member of that band tried to hog the limelight over anybody else for the sake of gratifying their own ego. They played as a band should play: cohesively, supportively, and for the sake of the music. That type of synergy is what made all of those musicians look and sound great.