It’s all about sobriety and Diet Cokes for Ryan Adams these days. And these days find Ry at Town Hall with The Cardinals for a sold-out three-night run of shows. Last night was the second of the string, with Norah Jones’s side project The Little Willies opening. Adams went with a “no-repeat song” policy for the residency, which god knows he has the material for, but is probably more fun to play than to attend. But as he said “this is my wish, not yours … but you can be in it.”
Don’t get us wrong; Ryan could sing his way around most out there, and he’s nothing if not a performer. (And how many dudes could wear patent leather platforms and hair in top-head ponytail and still get compliments on his jeans?) But when you’re hoping for Heartbreaker, it’s a bummer to get the jam band treatment. But what could compare to that 1AM Bowery gig?
Still, the night was full of great moments, whether it was Ryan responding to a call of “DJ Reggie What The Fuck?!” with “Aww snap, someone be calling my name!,” or a killer rendition of “Harder Now That It’s Over.” And the Cardinals sound like a well-oiled machine, slipping from Ry’s alt-country to his Dead worship with ease. (The set closed with a great “Stella Blue,” getting a good cheer from the Deadheads in the house.) The cam was acting up, so no still shots worth sharing. But here’s Ryan on a mellowed “Firecracker.”
If the vid quality doesn’t bother ya, check out last night’s take on “Cherry Lane” here, and “Dear John” (with Norah Jones) here. And when some loud and obnoxious fan got kicked out and yelled to Adams for help (don’t think Ry grasped the situation at that point), it’s a good thing the laughter and WereWolph’s babbling banter drowned out the offending fan’s yell of “Summer Of ’69!” No one wants to see that.
01. “What Sin”
02. “Nobody Girl”
03. “Harder Now That It’s Over”
05. “Meadowlake Street”
06. “Freeway To The Canyon” (Neal Casal on lead vox)
07. “Trouble On Wheels”
08. “Easy Plateau”
10. “Goodnite Rose”
12. “Cherry Lane”
13. “Dear John” (w/ Norah Jones)
14. “Stella Blue”