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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ryan Adams is Baaaaack! (Quick Recap of the Royal Albert Hall Show)


So I was going to hold off posting about this show until more fan reviews came in, but I was so excited I felt the need to post something sooner. Sadly, I wasn't in the audience tonight in London, but according to several reports from fans, Ryan Adams and his new five piece band were incredible!

Adams was backed by a who's who of respected musicians who are also supposed to play on Ryan's next album. The band included: Ethan Johns (who had previously produced several of Adams' finest works including Heartbreaker and Gold) on guitar, Don Was (famous producer who has worked with everybody) on the bass, Jeremy Stacey (from Noel Gallagher's band) played drums, Cindy Cashdollar (who previously played in the Cardinals with Ryan Adams, and has backed Bob Dylan and Van Morrison) on played pedal steel, and lastly Benmont Tench (from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) on keys. Despite being a fairly large band, they played very subtle yet effective backing parts.

The mostly acoustic show lasted around two hours and featured plenty of surprises, including two brand new songs from his upcoming solo album due this fall. One fan noted that both songs played tonight "sounded like nothing else Ryan has done before." The first tentatively titled "Where I Meet You in My Mind" was said to feature a hypnotic guitar riff and a very Nick Drake-esque, talkin-blues vocal line. One reviewer said it wouldn't have sounded out of place on Ashes and Fire. While the second, ("I'm in the Shadows Again") featured a storyline about vampires and was a menacing guitar driven blues shuffle similar to "Trains" (from Jacksonville City Nights), but more atmospheric.

As far as the rest of the set went, "Fix It" was played much funkier than any previous live version. While "Do I Wait" was played as a new electric version. But maybe the biggest surprise was the first full band performance since 2006 of "Nobody Girl". More than one person commented on Ethan Johns' face-melting guitar solo at the end of the song. Ryan also led the band through a hilarious improv about a loaf of bread. At the end of the set, Ryan thanked the band for making his songs sound the best they had ever sounded.

Again there was almost nothing but praise for the performance tonight. The only complaint I did come across was the lack of vocal harmonies. Also according to the band's set list there were a few songs that were not played due to time restraints. These included "Easy Plateau", "Carolina Rain", and 2 more new ones ("Haywire" and "How Much Light"). Hopefully there will be many more shows to come!

Here's the setlist:

Dirty Rain
Ashes and Fire
My Winding Wheel
Fix It
New Song ("Where I meet you in my mind")
Improv Song about a Loaf of Bread
Please Do Not Let Me Go
Why Do They Leave?
Invisible Riverside
Let it Ride
Nobody Girl (!!!)
New Song ("I'm in the shadows again..")
Oh My Sweet Carolina (played solo )
English Girls Approximately (played solo)
Do I Wait
I Love You But I Don't Know What to Say

Dear John
Come Pick Me Up

Were you at the show? Comment below or email me with anything you'd like to add. I'll be updating this post again later with more info.

3 comments:

  1. Here's a full review + setlist here:

    http://phealeylivemusicreviews.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/ryan-adams-2/

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  2. Ryan was awesome. He was relaxed, great banter between the songs, and had a devoted crowd rapt and spellbound all night with a spine-tingling performance. He let loose with his voice, showing its incredible range. His solo gigs last year were fab, but the band tonight lifted them to a different level. Towards the end he thanked the band saying 'these songs have never sounded better' and I'm sure he's right. Great standing ovation at the end. Loved it! simon

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  3. Nobody Girl was last played by RA on Nov. 11, 2011:

    http://www.ryanadamsarchive.com/archive/index.php/t-24685.html

    I consider this show (11/13/11) to be probably one of the best recordings of that tour.

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