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Sunday, August 31, 2014

US Tour Wrap-Up (7/22-8/7/14)

The debut tour for Ryan Adams and the Shining was a smashing success! Although there were some hiccups now and again (mostly with backing harmonies at some of the early gigs), The Shining could end up being Ryan's most versatile group yet. This young cast features drummer Freddie Bokkenheuser, bassist Charlie Stavish, guitarist Mike Viola, and keyboardist Daniel Clarke. Although not quite as jam-tastic as the Cardinals, and not as rockin' as the Rock n Roll touring band - The Killers; The Shining still excelled at playing almost anything Ryan threw their way. By the last tour stop in Boulder, Ryan commented that it was one of the best shows he'd ever been a part of. There is no doubt that in the months ahead, these guys will only get better and better.

Most of the shows on this tour were festivals and multi-act performances, so there were only a couple 2 hour + gigs. However during the shows, the band debuted a bunch of new tunes. Over half of the songs from Ryan's upcoming album were played, as well as two from his recent punk EP 1984, and another ("Catherine") which is expected to be on the long-awaited album - Blackhole. The group also debuted a cover of punk icon - Greg Sage's song "Straight Ahead" as an encore in Camden.

In 6 shows, the group played 31 different songs in total. Most of them were played for the first time with a band since the last Cardinals tour in 2009! Nothing from Gold, Demolition, Rock n' Roll, or 29 were performed (although fans mentioned hearing "The Rescue Blues" being rehearsed prior to the Boulder show). Other than the new material, there was a good mix of songs from all of the other records. The Ashes and Fire songs sounded incredible with the full band! Although the arrangements weren't largely different from the studio renditions, songs like "Dirty Rain" and "Do I Wait" had a much richer  and more electrified sound that was goosebump-inducing.

Ryan was as hilarious as ever at most of these gigs, with his band backing him perfectly as he dove into improv songs about smoking weed and eating lobster rolls in the voice of Michael Mcdonald. Also in Newport, they attempted to perform the world's worst cover of "Let it Be" by the Beatles, and it was amazingly awful (but incredible)! At most gigs, Ryan led the crowd into chants of "CHARLIE! CHARLIE!", as this was supposedly Charlie Stavish's first time ever going out and playing live.

Other Notables
"Political Scientist" was played for the first time since live since early 2004; and "Anybody Wanna Take Me Home" - for the first time since 2006.

"Peaceful Valley" featured a new arrangement and was pretty jammy.

In Camden on 7/26, Ryan joined Jenny Lewis onstage during her set, and played lead guitar on the song "She's Not Me".

Following the tour, Ryan Adams and the Shining made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, as well as recorded a performance for World Cafe.

Autographed 7"s were available at the merch booths as well as a few really cool new t-shirts.


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