In conceiving his 1970s band Roxy Music, British singer-songwriter Bryan Ferry expanded rock's conceptual palette by adding both futuristic and retro elements. Wednesday at the 9:30 club, Ferry emphasized the latter, performing selections from his new album of old songs, "As Time Goes By."
The self-styled crooner didn't entirely abandon his former repertoire. The set list complemented Ferry's punk-country-gentleman outfit, which paired a frock coat with black leather pants. While showcasing such standards as "Where or When" and "You Do Something to Me"--and the singer's jazz-rooted 13-piece band--the concert also included Roxy Music rock covers that Ferry has made his own, John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" and Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Stick Together."
The show probably marked the first time a full-size harp has been played on the 9:30 stage, but the mixture of instruments and styles never seemed precarious. Although the musicians were obviously chosen for their ability to play old-fashioned big-band charts, they showed no difficulty with Roxy's proto-punk raver "Do the Strand."
Their performance of that raucous encore, in fact, revealed how much more easily genres are scrambled these days than in Roxy Music's time.