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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Australia/New Zealand Solo Tour Wrap-Up (2/25-3/8/12)

Ryan stuck with a pretty similar set list, each night during this short 2 week jaunt across Australia and New Zealand. Jason Isbell opened the shows for him each night with a great mix of Drive-By Truckers and solo material. Fans and press alike seemed to have nothing but great things to say about these gigs. In fact, it's hard to remember the last time I've heard something negative written about any of his shows?! Ryan did a fair amount of press while on tour, including a television taping for Max TV in Australia.

For the most part, the shows mimicked many from the last leg. Sets lasted between 20 and 24 songs. Although the variety of songs was a little weaker than past legs, Ryan still managed to find time for some excellent and hilarious improv tunes such as "Iratu and the Legion of Doom", "Lair of the Minotaur", "Robert DeNiro as a Hawk" and of course the now legendary - "Mr Cat". Still in only 6 shows, Ryan managed to throw in some unexpected songs from his vast catalogue.

- On 2/28 in Sydney, Ryan closed the show in unexpected fashion with "Strawberry Wine".

- "The Hardest Part" was played for the first time since 2006 on March 1st in Brisbane!

- Ryan debuted a surprise cover of "Whatever You Run Into" by the Verlaines on 3/6 in Dunedin, NZ (which also happens to be the hometown of the Verlaines).

Other Notables

In six shows, Ryan played a total of 32 different songs. "Invisible Riverside" seems to have been dropped from the set lists, after being played at almost every show since Ashes and Fire came out. Another notable absence was "Crossed Out Name", which had been played at every show for the last 2 legs

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