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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.


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