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Friday, November 18, 2011

European Tour Wrap-Up (10/27-11/13)

Tour Wrap-Up

Ryan continued to captivate audiences around Europe for the 2nd go around this year. This time, he threw more surprises into the mix. The song selection was more varied than any tour he has played since the classic run of Fall 06' shows with the Cardinals! Over the 12 dates, he played 61 different songs including rarely played gems like "Halloween", "When Will You Come Back Home", "Nobody Girl", "Somebody Remembers the Rose", "Pa", and "Cannonball Days". He also managed to throw in some new cover songs (Alice in Chains and Judas Priest) and many tunes never played in a solo setting ("Afraid Not Scared", "Cobwebs", "Natural Ghost"). This tour featured some truly classic Ryan Adams shows and many fans who witnessed them tend to agree Ryan has never sounded better. And although the music sounds great, the goofy side of Ryan we all love was in full effect!

Unfortunately as with the previous couple of tours, no taping was allowed. But, he continues to mention plans to release them for download and/or a live box set. (My fingers are staying crossed). If all else fails, one of the gigs (11/4 in Breda, The Netherlands) was filmed for a live television special in December. Ryan played these gigs by himself with a piano and guitar, and is likely to continue to play solo at least until next year. Considering his ear problems, I'm assuming, if he plays live, it will be with a more laid back quiet band with stand-up bass, small drum kit, brushes perhaps.?

Chris Stills (son of Stephen, and an excellent songwriter in his own rite) opened up the shows with a fairly brief acoustic set that many fans enjoyed. On the merchandise front, no rare 7" records were available on this tour.

The shows on this tour lasted anywhere from 20-31 songs and 2 -3 hours per night. Although the set lists varied a bit more than previous ones, Ryan started each show with "Oh My Sweet Carolina" and "Ashes and Fire" and usually ended every night with "Come Pick Me Up". But everything in between was anybody's guess. The song selection was a little more varied across his whole catalog this time out. Towards the end of the tour, he began playing a lot of songs from Cardinology. A couple more songs from Ashes and Fire made their debut ("Kindness" and "Rocks").

Other Notables

-On the opening night of the tour in London, "Rocks" is played for the first time live. "When Will You Come Back Home" is played for the first time solo (and will continue to be played regularly throughout the tour). Other rarely played songs from this show included "In My Time of Need" and "Halloween".

-Ryan ended his gig on 10/30 in Edinburgh, Scotland by played 5 Whiskeytown songs back to back

-"Kindness" was played its' first and only time on 11/1 in London.

- Ryan played a show in Brussels, Belgium for his birthday on 11/5. In the middle of the gig, two people (one dressed as a clown and the other a grim reaper) come out on stage while he is playing to sing Happy Birthday. This show also featured the old Whiskeytown gem - "Somebody Remembers the Rose" (played for the first time since 2001).

- During the 11/8 show in Goteburg, Sweden; Ryan announced he was going to play a show that "the internet nerds will drool over". During the set he manages to play the live debut of two cover songs ("Grinder" by Judas Priest, and "Nutshell" by Alice in Chains). He also plays "Somebody Remembers the Rose" (only the 2nd time since 2001) and "Cannonball Days".

- On 11/12, Ryan played at a church in Malmo, Sweden. The show ended with a 6 song encore of rarities from Cardinology, including "Cobwebs", "Sink Ships", "Evergreen", and "Natural Ghost" (all played for the first time ever solo). He also played "Like Yesterday" which hadn't been played solo since early 2008.

- Ryan obviously saved the best for last. November 13th, 2011 in Denmark was without a doubt one of Ryan's greatest gigs! The 31 song/3 hour monster of a set included rarities like - "Nobody Girl" (played for the first time since 2006, and first time solo since 2002.), "Afraid Not Scared" (first time played solo), "Pa" (hasn't been played since 2005), "Blue Sky Blues" (first time since the Fall of 2007), "Chin Up Cheer Up" (first time since 2006), "Meadowlake Street" and more.

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