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Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon(2011)
No synopsis for Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon.
For more about Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon and the Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray release, see Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on September 23, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Bryan Ferry
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Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray Review
Mercy crosses the Ferry.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, September 23, 2013
The term "crooner" would hardly seem to be one associated with the music of the seventies and eighties, unless one were considering the late career efforts of singers like Sinatra or Bennett. But a much younger man might at least be tangentially thought of as an almost off the cuff vocalist, at least that is if the cuff were elegantly linked and made of the finest fabric available. Bryan Ferry has always been a rather odd presence in rock music, one with such a distinctive vocal style and with an attendant eye on image that in many ways he presaged the MTV era of music stardom, where a certain amount of weirdness and image often combined to create "overnight sensations". Despite Ferry's early success with Roxy Music, he himself seemed to have one foot in another era, as his early albums of standards (whether from The Great American Songbook or then more recent rock and pop fare), These Foolish Things and Another Time, Another Place, admirably prove. Ferry has continued to mine unexpected material throughout his career, both in self written tunes as well as in his choices for cover material. 2010's Olympia, consisting mostly of originals, followed his 2007 album of Dylan covers, Dylanesque, perhaps a microcosmic example of the widely divergent approaches Ferry has taken over the past several decades. Live in Lyon was actually part of his 2011 Olympia tour, but it finds Ferry and a fantastic band (including his son Tara on drums) essaying a career wide trek through material that includes many of Ferry's biggest hits (both as a solo artist and with Roxy Music), as well as lesser known gems that will probably be known mostly to Ferry aficionados.
This new Blu-ray is being released in two formats, a standalone edition and a deluxe edition housed in a beautiful cloth bound hardback book, which also includes a CD. The book features a great retrospective on Ferry and his career, including separate listings for each of his albums. But the opening introduction to Ferry contains a rather incisive description of why Ferry and Roxy Music were so iconic:
. . .(H)ere was a group which appeared to have taken the history of modern popular music, from French chanson to Elvis to progressive rock, by way of soul and the avant garde, and fused their different inspirations into a seamless and glittering pure pop moment. More or less overnight, the band's audience was secured—from screaming teenage fans to highbrow rock critics. And in many ways, Ferry's creation of Roxy Music was one of the great statements of Pop Art— with all of the musicians, designers and stylists whom he had brought together combining their talents to make an intoxicating and radically new montage of musical and visual styles.Ferry's audio-visual aesthetic is well on display in this concert. First of all, the venue itself—a huge amphitheater built on top of ancient Roman ruins—is itself the very sort of mash-up between old and new that Ferry's music often evinces. But Ferry makes this concert something of a synaesthesic quasi-psychedelic experience, with a huge screen in back of the players that features a rather whimsical assortment of images in a variety of styles. Some of these are photographs, others are graphical elements, still others are videos, themselves in a number of different styles. The concert Blu-ray actually cuts to the actual elements that are being projected at various times, without any "intermediary", as it were, adding to the multimedia feeling of the concert. Two "go go dancers" on raised daises far upstage also add to a somewhat retro flair the evening's performance indulges in.
Ferry is rather incredibly getting close to 70 now (he was around 66 when this performance occurred), and some signs of age are beginning to creep into his evocative voice. He tends to almost indulge in Sprechgesang for some of this concert, kind of half-speaking, half-singing several songs. Interestingly, his upper range seems to be more intact than his sonorous lower end. When he cuts loose on some of the higher notes in tunes like "Avalon", he recaptures much of the magic of his Top 40 heyday. A large and diverse band moves through the huge variety of material with aplomb here, venturing into everything from kind of spacy instrumentals ("Tara") to more straight ahead rock numbers ("All Along the Watchtower"). Ferry is full of surprises, as always, offering a tune inspired by Godard's Alphaville and investing even relatively simple songs like "Love is the Drug" with sudden collisions of dissonance and chaos.
Ferry's set list consists of:
1. I Put a Spell On You
2. Slave to Love
3. Don't Stop the Dance
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
5. If There is Something
6. Make You Feel My Love
7. You Can Dance
9. Reason or Rhyme
10. Oh Yeah!
11. Like a Hurricane
15. My Only Love
16. What Goes On
17. Sign of the Times
18. Love is the Drug
19. All Along the Watchtower
20. Let's Stick Together
21. Hold On I'm Coming
22. Jealous Guy
Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray, Video Quality
Bryan Ferry Live in Lyon is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Eagle Vision (an imprint of Eagle Rock Entertainment) with an AVC encoded 1080i transfer in 1.78:1. This is an uncommonly scenic concert Blu-ray, both courtesy of the countryside, which can be very minimally made out in the background when the camera pans away from the amphitheater, but also with regard to the great collection of projections that Ferry utilizes as his backdrop. Unfortunately, the stage lighting is once again bathed in tones of red, blue and what seems to be the "exciting new color" of sickly pea green, none of which help fine detail and in fact can tend to make the image seem devoid of texture. Some of the unusual lighting choices, like a light purple, actually fare much better and fine detail is quite good in these sequences. A small amount of incipient mosquito noise creeps into the image at the very bottom in the darkest moments, especially when the camera is on the two backup singers on stage right. There are also some very minimal but noticeable combing artifacts on display, most usually having to do with quick drumstick movements. Generally, though, this is a nicely sharp and well detailed looking concert video, at least when there are close-ups in relatively normal light.
Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There's an unusually wide disparity between Bryan Ferry Live in Lyon's lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and the uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo fold down. The 2.0 mix is noticeably quieter, and not just due to a less fulsome low end. Ironically, that means that at times Ferry's voice is a bit easier to hear, at least if you turn your volume up rather high. The 5.1 mix is nicely immersive, offering a great aural window into the layering that is so essential to Ferry's technique. I personally wish Ferry's voice had been mixed up a bit higher in this 5.1 mix. He becomes part of the "swirl" of the music rather than a crowning element. Some may actually like this approach, but I personally found it hard to hear everything he was singing, especially in the louder songs. Fidelity is excellent and when considering the concert as a whole, dynamic range is fairly wide.
Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
This deluxe edition comes housed in a beautifully bound hardback book, complete with 76 glossy pages full of information about Ferry, including all of his albums. There are of course copious photographs and illustrations included as well. The inside covers of the book house both the Blu- ray and a bonus CD which includes some (but not all) of the tracks from the Lyon concert. The actual on disc supplement is:
Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Bryan Ferry Live in Lyon is a wonderful look back over one of the more legendary careers in 20th (and now 21st) century pop and rock music. Ferry may sound just a trifle haggard here at times, but the band is fantastic and the setting is unusual, bolstered by an impressive physical production that includes a lot of fascinating projected material. Ferry fans will no doubt want to have this release, and the only question will be whether to spring for the more pricey edition housed in a hardback book with a bonus CD, or simply go with the more basic, but more affordable, version. One way or the other, Bryan Ferry Live in Lyon comes Recommended.
Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon: Other Editions
Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray - September 9, 2013
Eagle Rock Entertainment has officially announced that it will release Bryan Ferry's Live In Lyon on Blu-ray. A 72-page hardback Deluxe Edition with embossed front cover and bonus CD of the concert will also be available for purchase. Street date is September ...
Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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