Editor's note: According to Palms officials, a fire alarm went off in the main casino during Bryan Ferry's April 12 show at the Pearl, causing the sound and lighting glitches. They also said the temperature in the venue was per Ferry's request. For more on Ferry's concert, click here.
Bryan Ferry The Pearl, April 12.
Perhaps the only thing Bryan Ferry could have done to make his Saturday night show at the Pearl better was add “Don’t Stop The Dance” to the already loaded setlist. Fourteen of the 19 cuts were from his storied band Roxy Music, three were solo works and two were cool covers (including John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”). It’s a shame the offstage team at the Palms couldn’t live up to the act on stage, as it marred an otherwise pristine show.
Things peaked early when Ferry, along with the eight other members of his fit band, set the mood with “Slave To Love,” a song that puts you exactly in the space it was released (1985) in the best way. Ferry, with just a little bit of gravel in his voice, is the type of crooner that Vegas was made for. Wearing a flowered smoking jacket and undone bow tie, he has the look and sound of something vintage but fresh.
The three-pack of “More Than This,” “Avalon” and “Love is the Drug” hit the Roxy Music sweet spot. “Virginia Plain,” “Editions of You,” “Ladytron”—Ferry and Co. nailed them all.
But even Ferry’s fine work couldn’t overwhelm the tech debacle that happened during “If There is Something,” a complex song with many parts from Roxy Music’s self-titled debut album. The sound cut out three times—not just the vocal microphone but all of the instruments, making the song nothing more than background music. As if that wasn’t enough to kill the momentum, each time the mics went out, the house lights came on. The second half of the set featured a hissing speaker.
Remember when the Pearl was the premier concert venue in Las Vegas? It felt like they didn’t even have the air conditioning on during this show, which was uncomfortable for the crowd, and I can only imagine how sweaty it felt on stage. Ferry, a worthy headliner, deserves a worthy venue. And sadly, on this night, the Pearl was not it.