Chris Spedding at the Greek

Close-up images of fabric and hair flickered across the video screen behind Bryan Ferry on Saturday night at the Greek Theatre, where the veteran English singer ended his first American tour in nearly a decade. Like much throughout Ferry’s career, the visuals communicated dual meanings: Primarily, there was the obsession with style that has preoccupied Ferry since his early ’70s days fronting Roxy Music. (Here’s a guy with no shortage of ways to wear a scarf, as he demonstrated Saturday.)

But beneath that granular attention to the details of fashion, another message seemed to emanate more slyly from the screen. The images were reminding us that, at 66, Ferry still has plenty of hair to obsess over.

Ferry’s attraction has always been to agelessness: the constant renewal of context enjoyed by archetypes and icons. (The title of the first song on the first Roxy Music album? “Re-Make/Re-Model.”) Dressed as usual in a crisp, dark suit, Ferry portrayed the kind of high-romantic consumption familiar from any number of literary characters; he was a man obliterated by love — a slave to it, as one song put it — only to be drawn back inexorably for another taste. The appeal of Ferry’s act, as with that of a Shakespearean performer, is the latitude (not to mention the dark comedy) he continues to find within the role.

MORE: Live: Bryan Ferry at the Greek Theatre

TEXT: Mikael Wood
PHOTO: Harmony Gerber