#header-expand { background: #333333; }

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Off Topic: My Favorite Music of 2018

My Favorite Albums of 2018

1. Brandi Carlile - "By the Way, I Forgive You"
2. Kacey Musgraves - "Golden Hour"
3. Parquet Courts - "Wide Awake!"
4. Viagra Boys - "Street Worms"
5. MGMT - "Little Dark Age"
6. John Prine - "The Tree of Forgiveness"
7. Janelle Monae - "Dirty Computer"
8. Leon Bridges - "Good Thing"
9. Alejandro Escovedo & Don Antonio - "The Crossing"
10. Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore - "Downey to Lubbock"
11. Paul McCartney - "Egypt Station"
12. Jeff Tweedy - "Warm"
13. David Byrne - "American Utopia"
14. Mike Viola - "The American Egypt"

Honorable Mentions
Thee Oh Sees - "Smote Reverser"
Guided by Voices - "Space Gun"
Czarface & MF Doom - "Czarface Meets Metal Face"
Khruangbin - "Con Todo El Mundo"
Delvon Lammar Organ Trio - "Close But No Cigar"
The Wild Pink - "Yolk in the Fur"
Lera Lynn - "Plays Well With Others"
Superchunk - "What a Time to Be Alive"
Gorillaz - "The Now Now"
Father John Misty - "God's Favorite Customer"

My Favorite EPs of 2018
Avi Jacob - "Surrender"
Underworld and Iggy Pop - "Teatime Dub Encounters"

My Favorite Songs of 2018

My Favorite Reissues/Archival Releases of 2018
Neil Young - "Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live"
The Beatles - "White Album"

My Favorite Concerts of 2018
1. Paul McCartney @ ACL Fest 10/5
2. Robert Plant and the Sensational Shapeshifters/Lucinda Williams@ ACL Live at Moody Theater, Austin, TX 10/1
3. Ryan Adams/Exile on Bourbon Street @ Saenger Theater, New Orleans, LA 5/5
4. Guided by Voices/Park Doing @ Mohawk, Austin, TX 6/20
5. David Byrne @ ACL Fest 10/5
6. Maggie Rogers/Mallrat @ Stubbs, Austin, TX 10/23
7. Thee Oh Sees @ Hotel Vegas, Austin, TX 4/30
8. Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives @ Antone's, Austin, TX 2/16
9. Parquet Courts/Ty Segall/Ron Gallo/A Giant Dog @ Stubbs, Austin, TX 4/26
10. Brandi Carlile@ ACL Fest 10/6
11. The Revolution @ ACL Fest 10/7
12. Metallica @ ACL Fest 10/6
13. John Hiatt and the Goners @ Paramount Theater, Austin, TX 1/20
14. Janelle Monae @ ACL Fest 10/7
15. Alejandro Escovedo @ Continental Club, Austin, TX 6/29
16. Nick Lowe and Lost Straightjackets/Jimmie Vaughan Trio @ Antone's, Austin, TX 9/26
17. Jack White/A Giant Dog @ Austin 360 Amphitheater, Austin, TX 5/2
18. The Texas Gentlemen @ Hula Hut, Austin, TX 3/14
19. St Vincent w/ Tuck and Patti @ ACL Live at Moody Theater, Austin, TX 2/23
20. Bill Callahan at Central Library, Austin, TX 2/9
21. The Relatives @ ACL Fest 10/7
22. The Texas Gentlemen @ ACL Fest 10/7
23. Luna/Flaural @ ACL 310, Austin, TX 4/6
24. Jackie Venson @ ACL Fest 10/6

Favorite New Music Discoveries (Pre-2018)
Various - "To the Outside of Everything: The Story of UK Post-Punk 1977-1981" (2017)
The Texas Gentlemen - "TX Jelly" (2017)
Count Vaseline - "Tales from the Megaplex" (2017)
Sza - "Cntrl" (2017)
Laura Marling - "Semper Femina" (2017)
Oh Sees - "Orc" (2017)
JD McPherson - "Undivided Heart and Soul" (2017)
Lana Del Rey - "Lust for Life" (2017)
Los Straightjackets - "Whats So Funny About Peace, Love, and Los Straightjackets" (2017)
Jason Loewenstein - "Spooky Action" (2017)
Greta Van Fleet - "From the Fires" (2017)
Kamasi Washington - "Harmony of Difference" (2017)
King Krule - "The Ooz" (2017)
Alejandro Escovedo - "Burn Something Beautiful" (2016)
Yorkston/Thorne/Khan - "Everything Sacred" (2016)
Childish Gambino - "Awaken My Love" (2016)
Various - "Punk 45: Les Punks: The French Connection. The First Wave of Punk 1977-1980"
Grimes - "Art Angels" (2015)
Sufjan Stevens - "Carrie and Lowell" (2015)
Prince - "Art of Official Age" (2014)
William Onyeabor - "World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who is William Onyeabor?" (2013)
Calexico - "Spiritoso" (2012)
Solange - "True" EP (2012)
Various - "Eat to the Beat: The Dirtiest of Them Dirty Blues" (2006)
Rodney Crowell - "The Outsider" (2005)
Buddy Miller - "Universal United House of Prayer" (2004)
Rodney Crowell - "Fate's Right Hand" (2003)
Elf Power - "Walking with the Beggar Boys" (2003)
Beastie Boys - "Ill Communication" (1994)
Beastie Boys - "Check Your Head" (1992)
Beastie Boys - "Paul's Boutique" (1989)
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - "Trust" (1981)
Joe Ely - "Honky Tonk Masquerade" (1978)
Suicide - "Suicide" (1977)
John Prine - "Sweet Revenge" (1973)
Bobby Charles (1972)
Willis Alan Ramsey (1972)
Les McCann & Eddie Harris - "The Swiss Movement" (1969)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Off Topic: My Favorite Music of 2017

My Favorite Albums of 2017

1. Ryan Adams - Prisoner
Surprisingly this marks the first time that a Ryan Adams album has made the #1 spot on my annual favorites list since this blog started in 2011! With musical nods to Tom Petty, The Smiths, and mid-80's Bruce Springsteen, Ryan perfected the sound he was going for on his last album - creating more concise, less rough-around-the-edges, deceptively simple tracks that showcase his guitar chops better than ever before. "Prisoner" was the only album from 2017 that I continually kept going back to again and again........ Key Tracks: "Doomsday", "Shiver and Shake", "To Be Without You", "Outbound Train", "We Disappear", "Tightrope".

2. Beck - Colors
I wasn't sure what to make of this album on the first listen as it sounded waaaayyyy too poppy for my taste however "Colors" has continued to get better with each listen. This is futuristic, challenging pop music for party animals. Over 20 years into his career, Beck remains on the cutting edge of modern music........ Key Tracks: "Colors", "Seventh Heaven", "I'm So Free", "Dear Life", "No Distraction", "Wow", "Up All NIght", "Fix Me".

3. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound
The Nashville Sound marks the 3rd classic album in a row from alt-country songwriter - Jason Isbell. As much as I love Ryan Adams, no artist's songs hit me in the gut more than Isbell's. Heart-wrenching songs that are perfect for sitting in a dark room by yourself, drinking whiskey, and doing some soul searching........ "Last of My Kind", "Cumberland Gap", "Tupelo", "If We Were Vampires", "Anxiety", "White Man's World", "Molotov", "Hope the High Road".

4. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
Hypnotic, infectious, and sexy as hell - LCD Soundsystem returned with their first new record in 7 years and it didn't disappoint. This is 80 minutes of driving electronic music to get lost in...... Key Tracks: Other Voices", "I Used to", "Change Yr Mind", "Tonite", "Call the Police", "Emotional Haircut".

5. Guided by Voices - How Do You Spell Heaven
GBV put out 2 really great albums this year but this one gets the nod for me. More concise and less of the lo-fi experimental filler found on August By Cake. This is one of my favorites in their massive catalogue..........Key Tracks: "The Birthday Democrats", "King 007", "Boy W", "Steppenwolf Mauseleum", "Diver Dan", "Pearly Gates Smoke Machine", "Low Flying Perfection", "Paper Cutz", "Nothging Gets You Real"

6. Spoon - Hot Thoughts
Futuristic arty rock, full of cool synth sounds, instrumental segueways, definitely one of my favorite Spoon records...........Key Tracks:  "Hot Thoughts", "Do I Have to Talk You Into It", "Shotgun", "Pink Up".

7. Alex Cameron - Forced Witness
Full of cheesy synths, funny lyrics, electronic drums, sax solos, crooner vocals. This is 80s pop reconfigured with a low budget and a smirk. Features guest spots from Angel Olsen and Brandon Flowers. Really enjoyed this!.......Key Tracks: "Candy May", "Country Figs", "Runnin' Outta Luck", "Stranger's Kiss", "True Lies", "Stufmuffin96", "Politics of Love".

8. St. Vincent - Masseduction
This record came out late in the year so I haven't had as much time to delve into it as others but has definitely grown on me more with each listen. Less guitar heavy than her last one........... "Masseduction", "Los Angeles", "Saviour", "Slow Disco"

9. Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives - Way Out West
This marks the first Marty Stuart album I've heard and was not what I was expecting at all.  Produced by Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), this is a very cinematic album full of cosmic country, surf rock, Tex-mex rock, desert, and drugs. Damn fine Americana!.......... "Lost on the Desert", "Way Out West", "Old Mexico", "Time Dont Wait", "Air Mail Special", "Torpedo", "Whole Lotta Highway"

10. Dan Auerbach - Waiting on a Song
Perhaps the happiest album on my best of 2017 list! Dan Auerbach is backed by an all-star band and delivers plenty of feel-good, sunshiny rock that my 3 year old also happens to enjoy. Moments on the album bring to mind George Harrison and Jack Johnson....... "Waiting on a Song", "Malibu Man", "Shine on Me", "Never In My WIldest Dreams", "Cherry Bomb", "Stand By My Girl"

11. Howe Gelb - Future Standards
I started to listening to a little more jazz music this year focusing on Theolonious Monk, Bill Evans, and a lot of quiet, more stripped down piano jazz. This album was an excellent entry point into the genre! Howe Gelb is best known as the singer in the band Giant Sand. But on Future Standards, he steps away from the guitar and croons his way through some really intimate, late night, new self-penned classics.........."Terribly So", "Irresponsible Lovers", "Ownin' It", "Impossible Thing"

12. Future Islands - The Far Field
Although this record doesn't feature the hits of the last one, overall I would say this is much more consistent. The songs are still full of rhythmic pulsating bass and drums, shimmery synths, and Sam Herring's distinctive Elton John-esque vocals. Also features a guest appearance from Debbie Harry....... "Time on Her Side", "Beauty of the Road", "Through the Roses", "North Star"

13. The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir
If you're not already a Magnetic Fields fan, this might be a little too much Stephen Merritt to handle. This stunning 5 disc, 50 song set, features 1 song for every year of his life and offers plenty of dry-witted dark humor than fans have come to know and love........ "Wonder Where I'm From", "Come Back as a Cockroach", "No", "How to Play the Synthesizer", "Danceteria", "Ethan Frome", "Weird Diseases", "Have You Seen It in the Snow", "Be True to Your Bar", "Surfin'", "Stupid Tears", "You Can Never Go Back to New York"

14 . John Moreland - Big Bad Luv
Great tear-jerkin country music. Jason Isbell and John Moreland remain 2 very bright lights in country music today. This was the other big tearjerker record for me this year........"Sallisaw Blue", "Old Wounds", "Love is Not an Answer", "Lies I Chose to Believe", "Slow Down Easy", "It Don't Suit Me", "Latchkey Kid"

15. Steve Earle - So You Wanna Be an Outlaw
This is my favorite Steve Earle album in a long time! I've always been a huge fan of his work from the mid 90s-early 2000. This one definitely harkens back to those years. Features Brad Pemberton on drums, and Willie Nelson as a guest singer. He sounds revitalized here!........"So You Wanna Be an Outlaw", "The Firebreak Line", "New from Colorado", "Fixin to Die", "This is How It Ends", "You Broke My Heart"

16. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
This one didn't quite draw me in like To Pimp a Butterfly but is still growing on me. Has a handful of songs I really love.......... "XXX", "Lust", "Humble", "DNA"

Honorable Mentions
The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding (a grower)
Bash and Pop - Anything Could Happen (maybe the next best thing to a new Replacements album)
Son Volt - Notes of Blue (Dark Midwestern Alt-country trip that harkens back to their earliest albums)
Guided by Voices - August by Cake (double album/good fun, sometimes sloppy guitar driven lo-fi indie rock)
John Mayer - The Search for Everything (by far his best album since 2006)
Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps (super depressing but a beautiful quiet record)
Low Cut Connie - Dirty Pictures Volume 1 (great boozy bar band rock n roll)
Power Trip - Nightmare Logic (thrash metal)
Matthew Sweet - Tomorrow Forever (If you like power pop, guitars, and soaring harmonies, this album is for you!)
Aimee Mann - Mental Illness ("Goose Snow Cone" does it for me everytime)
Flo Morrissey and Matthew E White - Gentlewoman, Ruby Man (really great covers album with songs totally transformed from their originals - Frank Ocean, Beck, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen)
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Best Troubadour (Merle Haggard tribute album)
Kacy and Clayton - The Siren's Song (sounds like a classic 60's folk duo)
Luna - A Sentimental Education (another great covers album/Mercury Rev, Dylan, The Stones, Willie Alexander, Bowie, The Cure)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana (released 5 studio albums this year! Aussie psychedelic-garage rockers, "Rattlesnake" is my jam)

Favorite EPs of 2017
Middle Kids 
Maggie Rogers - Until the Light is Fading

My Favorite Songs of 2017

Favorite Reissues/Archival Releases from 2017
The Replacements - For Sale:Live at Maxwell's 1986
Neil Young - Hitchhiker 

My Favorite Concerts of 2017
1. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit/Amanda Shires @ ACL Live at Moody Theater, Austin, TX 7/16
2. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/Gary Clark Jr. @ Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX 5/2
3. Television @ Paper Tiger, San Antonio, TX 3/20 
4. Ryan Adams and the Unknown Band/Middle Kids @ Stubbs BBQ, Austin, TX 10/5
5. Low Cut Connie/The Reputations/Jack La Botz @ Barracuda, Austin, TX 11/10
6. Jesse Malin/A. Sinclair @ 3Ten ACL Live 1/28
7. Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express @ The Continental Club, Austin, TX 3/11
8. Guided by Voices @ Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehobeth Beach, DE 9/8
9. Tobin Sprout and Elf Power @ Barracuda, Austin, TX 8/4
10. Ryan Adams and His Unknown Band @ Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO 6/20
11. Alex Cameron/Jack Ladder @ Sidewinder, Austin, TX 9/21
12. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit @Whitewater Amphitheater, New Braunfells, TX 9/22
13. Dan Auerbach @ ACL Live at Moody Theater, Austin, TX 11/27
13. Drive-by Truckers/Hiss Golden Messenger @ Stubbs BBQ, Austin, TX 4/8
14. Mike Watt and The Jom and Terry Show @ Barracuda, Austin, TX 5/26
15. The Lemon Twigs @ Stubbs BBQ, Austin, TX 2/14
16. The Sloths @ Paper Tiger, San Antonio, TX 3/20
17. Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express @ The Continental Club, Austin, TX 3/11

Favorite New Music Discoveries (pre-2017)
The Cactus Blossoms - You're Dreaming (2016)
The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood (2016)
William Bell - This is Where I Live (2016)
Leonard Cohen - You Want it Darker (2016)
A Tribe Called Quest - We Got it from Here.... (2016)
Aaron Lee Tasjan - Silver Tears (2016)
Bruno Mars - 24K Magic (2016)
Drive-by Truckers - American Band (2016)
Run the Jewels 3 (2016)
Carly Rae Jepsen - E-MO-TION (2015)
Leon Bridges - Coming Home (2015)
Alex Cameron - Jumping the Shark (2014)
Chuck Prophet - Night Surfer (2014)
Sun Kil Moon - Benji (2014)
Tommy Stinson - Village Gorilla Head (2004)
Sun Kill Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway (2003)
Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, 1964-1969 (2001)
Raisins in the Sun (2001)
Richard Buckner - Devotion + Doubt (1997)
Massive Attack - Mezzanine (1996)
The Dave Edmunds Anthology (1990)
Madonna - The Immaculate Collection (1990)
The Flamin' Groovies - Groovies Greatest Grooves (1989)
Bad Brains (1982)
Prince - Controversy (1981)
Prince - Dirty Mind (1980)
Prince (1979)
Prince - For You (1978)
The Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin - The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
Andy Williams' Greatest Hits (1970)
Cat Stevens - Mona Bone Jakon (1970)
Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman (1970)

Monday, August 14, 2017

US Tour Wrap-Up (7/28-8/5)

Ryan Adams and the Unknown Band hit the midwestern US for 7 shows making stops in St Paul, Milwaukee, Chicago, St Louis, and St Charles. Most of the shows were headlining gigs played in theaters while 2 were festival shows (Lollapalooza and Hinterland).

Out of the 7 shows, 39 different songs were performed. Prior to the July 29th show in St Paul, someone had posted a song request for the rare b-side - "On My Life" on the venue's marquee.  Ryan caught a glimpse of the request while walking in the venue and the band ended up playing it live for the first time ever. "Dear Chicago" was appropriately brought back into the set for the first time this year during the 2 shows in Chicago. Also at Lollapalooza, Ryan played "Happy Birthday" from the III/IV album for the first time live. The group continued to jam out "Magnolia Mountain" at every show. On August 1st in St Louis, Ryan dedicated the song to Jerry Garcia and proceeded to play a 20 minute jammed out medley of "Magnolia Mountain" --> "Cold Roses--> "Invisible Riverside".


Saturday, August 12, 2017

US Tour Notes and Setlists (7/28-8/5)

7/28 - Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN
24 Songs.
Gimme Something Good/Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Outbound Train/Everybody Knows/Stay With Me/Two/Anything I Say To You Now/Doomsday/When the Stars Go Blue/New York New York/Magnolia Mountain-->Cold Roses/Let it Ride/Juli/My Winding Wheel/I Just Might/Am I Safe/Prisoner/To Be Without You/Shakedown on 9th Street/I See Monsters/Invisible Riverside/Do I Wait

7/29 - Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN
22 Songs plus an improv ("It Ain't Snowing"). Someone put up a song request for "On My Life" on the marquee outside the venue. Ryan saw this prior to the show and played it live for the first time ever.
New York New York/Doomsday/Gimme Something Good/Do You Still Love Me/Dirty Rain/This House is Not for Sale/Blue Light/Outbound Train/When the Stars Go Blue/On My Life/Magnolia Mountain--> Cold Roses/Fix It/Dear John/Let it Ride/Juli/Prisoner/Kim/Trouble/We Disappear/Shakedown on 9th Street/Come Pick Me Up

7/30 - Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee, WI
23 Songs.
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Stay With Me/Dirty Rain/Outbound Train/Everybody Knows/Prisoner/Doomsday/When the Stars Go Blue/I Just Might/Two/Magnolia Mountain-->Cold Roses/Invisible Riverside/Let it Ride/Juli/Do I Wait/Halloweenhead/To Be Without You/New York New York/Come Pick Me Up/Shakedown on 9th Street

8/1 - The Pageant, St. Louis, MO
23 Songs. Ryan dedicated "Magnolia Mountain" to Jerry Garcia.
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Stay With Me/Dirty Rain/Outbound Train/Everybody Knows/Prisoner/Doomsday/When the Stars Go Blue/I Just Might/Two/Magnolia Mountain-->Cold Roses-->Invisible Riverside/Let it Ride/Juli/Do I Wait/Halloweenhead/To Be Without You/New York New York/Come Pick Me Up/Shakedown on 9th Street

8/3 - The Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL
23 Songs.
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Two/Dirty Rain/Outbound Train/Everybody Knows/Prisoner/Doomsday/When the Stars Go Blue/My Winding Wheel/Ashes and Fire/I Just Might/Stay With Me/Magnolia Mountain-->Cold Roses/Invisible Riverside/Let it Ride/This House is Not for Sale/Dear Chicago/Anything I Say To You Now/New York New York/Come Pick Me Up

8/4 - Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL
14 Songs. Festival Show. "Happy Birthday" was played for the first time ever live.
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Dear Chicago/Let it Ride/Outbound Train/Everybody Knows/When the Stars Go Blue/Come Pick Me Up/New York New York/Happy Birthday/Dirty Rain/Shakedown on 9th Street/Magnolia Mountain

8/5 - Hinterland Music Festival, Saint Charles, IA
21 Songs plus an improv ("St Charles")
Gimme Something Good/Do You Still Love Me/Everybody Knows//Outbound Train/Two/Doomsday/Dirty Rain/When the Stars Go Blue/Magnolia Mountain-->Cold Roses/New York New York/Fix It/Prisoner/Breakdown/To Be Without You/Am I Safe/Let it Ride/I Just Might/Anything I Say to You Now/Halloweenhead/Shakedown on 9th Street

Thursday, August 10, 2017

European Tour Wrap-Up (7/6-7/16)

Ryan Adams returned to the shores of Europe for his first tour there since the summer of 2015. The band played a wide mix of shows in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, and Germany. The first few gigs of this leg were large festival shows where the group played a more scaled down 13-16 song set. Following that, Ryan Adams and company played headlining gigs at large amphitheaters as well as some of the most beautiful and intimate outdoor venues I've seen (Lake Garda, Italy! woah!).

The band brought a few surprises back into the setlist including "When the Summer Ends", "Am I Safe", "Blue Light", "Halloweenhead", and "English Girls Approximately". "Trouble" was played for the first time since 2015. The group also began to stretch the jamming out further on a medley of "Magnolia Mountain" and "Cold Roses" (ocassionally hitting the 20 minute mark).

I'm still waiting to hear back about one set list (Gaou Island, France) but during the 8 other shows, the group played 39 different songs.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

European Tour Notes and Setlists (7/6-7/16)

7/6 - NOS Festival, Lisbon, Portugal
13 Songs. Festival Show.
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Doomsday/Let it Ride/Magnolia Mountain/Anything I Say to You Now/Outbound Train/When the Stars Go Blue/Fix It/Peaceful Valley/New York New York/Shakdown on 9th Street

7/7 - Mad Cool Festival, Madrid, Spain
15 Songs. Festival Show.
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Doomsday/Outbound Train/Gimme Something Good/Stay With Me/Let it Ride/New York New York/When the Stars Go Blue/Anything I Say to You Now/Fix It/Cold Roses/Come Pick Me Up/Shakdown on 9th Street/My Winding Wheel

7/8 - Cruilla Festival, Barcelona, Spain
16 Songs plus an improv song ("I'll Never Shut Up"). Festival Show.
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Doomsday/Outbound Train/Gimme Something Good/Two/Stay With Me/Let it Ride/New York New York/When the Stars Go Blue/Anything I Say to You Now/Fix It/Cold Roses/Come Pick Me Up/Shakedown on 9th Street/My Winding Wheel

7/9 - Pointu Festival, Gaou Island, France
Festival Show. Waiting on setlist

7/11 - Cavea Auditorium Parco Della Musica, Rome, Italy
22 Songs
Do You Still Love Me/Gimme Something Good/Doomsday/Anything I Say to You Now/Stay With Me/Blue Light/Let it Ride/Juli/When the Summer Ends/Am I Safe/Two/I Just Might/Prisoner/When the Stars Go Blue/Do I Wait/I See Monsters/Breakdown/We Disappear/To Be Without You/Haunted House/Peaceful Valley/Shakedown on 9th Street

7/12 - Anfiteatro Del Vittoriale, Lake Garda, Italy
24 Songs plus an improv ("Walter Grey")
Do You Still Love Me/Gimme Something Good/Am I Safe/Stay With Me/Outbound Train/Prisoner/Let it Ride/Juli/Doomsday/When the Stars Go Blue/Anything I Say to You Now/Cold Roses/When the Summer Ends/This House is Not for Sale/I Just Might/Two/English Girls Approximately/Halloweenhead/Sweet Illusions/Everybody Knows/New York New York/To Be Without You/Trouble/Shakedown on 9th Street

7/13 - Culture Factory, Zagreb, Croatia
23 Songs.
Gimme Something Good/Stay With Me/I Just Might/Doomsday/Tightrope/Anything I Say to You Now/When the Stars Go Blue/Blue Light/When the Summer Ends/Am I Safe/Two/Prisoner/To Be Without You/Let it Ride/Juli/Magnolia Mountain --> Cold Roses/Invisible Riverside/Dirty Rain/Outbound Train/New York New York/Shakedown on 9th Street/Come Pick Me Up

7/15 - Muffathalle, Munich, Germany
25 Songs plus an improv ("Slimy Guys").
Do You Still Love Me/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Two/Dirty Rain/Outbound Train/Prisoner/Blue Light/When the Summer Ends/Stay With Me/Am I Safe/Doomsday/When the Stars Go Blue/Let it Ride/Juli/Magnolia Mountain/Cold Roses/Invisible Riverside/Anything I Say to You Now/To Be Without You/Everybody Knows/New York New York/Come Pick Me Up/Shakedown on 9th Street

7/16 - Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany
25 Songs.
Gimme Something Good/Do You Still Love Me/Outbound Train/Everybody Knows/Doomsday/Dirty Rain/Stay With Me/Two/When the Stars Go Blue/New York New York/Magnolia Mountain --> Cold Roses/Invisible Riverside/Fix It/Let it Ride/Juli/Prisoner/To Be Without You/Am I Safe/When the Summer Ends/I Just Might/Halloweenhead/I See Monsters/Shakedown on 9th Street/Come Pick Me Up

Thursday, July 6, 2017

US/Canada Tour Wrap-Up (6/18-29/17)

Only a few weeks after the previous leg of touring in Australia and New Zealand, Ryan and his Unknown Band were out once again for 9 shows throughout the western US and Canada.

Over the course of the tour, the group played 41 different songs. "My Wrecking Ball", "Why Do They Leave", "Oh My Sweet Carolina", and "I Just Might" were dusted off for the first time this year. The band stuck to a similar format to the last couple legs of shows - performing the usual 10-15 classics each night with the rest of the set typically featuring some surprises. Ryan also continued to played some songs solo acoustic during the gigs.

Probably the most notable gig of the tour came at the Alix Goolden Hall in Victoria, BC on June 25th. Ryan was having some problems with his hearing so rather than cancel the show, he played a large chunk of the show (9 songs) solo acoustic. Fans were treated to several rarities including the unreleased Prisoner outtake - "Was I Wrong?."

My wife and I were very lucky to catch 2 shows on this tour in Boulder and Red Rocks. These would mark my 20th and 21st time catching Ryan Adams in concert. All in all the shows were very good! I had been dreaming of going to Red Rocks for many many years and the venue was even more amazing than I was expecting especially when lightning started flashing across the skyline during the the performance.

Some random thoughts about the shows -
- I definitely prefer this lineup to the Shining but not the Cardinals (yet anyway). 
- The band was well rehearsed but they still sounded like a group that hasn't been playing together for very long. Most of the time (more so in Boulder) it seemed that Ryan and keyboardist - Ben Alleman were leading the band around through instrumental parts of songs.
- Ryan Adams is singing and playing guitar better than ever. Over the years, he has become a pretty phenomenal lead guitar player.
- Tod Wisenbaker is definitely the secret weapon in this band. Once him and Ryan starting gelling more musically and come up with more interlocking guitar parts - the sky's the limits. His guitar solos on both nights blew me away but it sounds like a lot of times his playing gets drowned out in the background.
- Boulder got pretty jammy midway through the set with "Cold Roses", "Mockingbird", and "Peaceful Valley." None of the jams really took off though.
- I wouldn't care if he never played "Fix It", "Gimme Something Good", or "New York New York" ever again.
- I really really love the live versions of the songs from both Ashes and Fire and Prisoner. "Doomsday", "Outbound Train", "Dirty Rain", "Invisible Riverside", "We Disappear", "Do You Still Love Me" were all fantastic.