Always a Gentleman: Bryan Ferry at The Chelsea

Brenton Ho / Kabik Photo Group

Bryan Ferry at The Chelsea

Class is hard to come by these days. Many folks seem to have decided that vulgarity, boorishness and sweatpants are the natural human condition and should not be fought. Bryan Ferry knows otherwise.

Ever since his days in Roxy Music, Ferry’s French cuffs and crooning delivery set him apart from both the overblown arena rock and gritty punk of his contemporaries (and won him Jerry Hall long before Mick or Murdoch got their shot). He’s still an elegant performer with inimitable delivery and a concrete-solid band.

The earlier part of the set leaned on his solo hits, including a swooning “Slave to Love,” but a Roxy Music mini-set reminded that the band’s style may have been swank, but its sound was rock ’n’ roll. Ferry’s version of “Love Is the Drug” was a woozy stomper and “Virginia Plain” was a sax-and-piano-powered hip-swinger, while “Let’s Stick Together” got even the most reluctant audience members on their feet.

The performance closed with a high-octane version of “Do the Strand” that gave each band member their big solo in the spotlight. Throughout the show, Ferry handed out abundant props to his band and opening act, making a point of sharing the applause with those around him. After all, grace and class are about more than what you wear.

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