Ryan Adams… Genius

Last night, I headed off to DC to see yet another outstanding performance from Ryan Adams. Performing with The Cardinals, the show was absolute, pure self-indulgence on the part of Ryan, and that’s what makes him the superstar that he is. It also demonstrated the stupidity of some of the crowd who show up at these concerts. If you’ve not seen Ryan perform before, he performs whatever he feels like doing, whether it’s a popular hit off one of his albums, or a song he wrote the night before in the hotel room, you’re going to get what he feels like playing on a given day. This seems to annoy a lot of people, and his shows are usually notorious for idiot ‘fans’ screaming out the name of songs (always with the few idiotic Bryan Adams requests – so funny, so original), or asking him to talk more, then screaming at him to shut up and sing.

Ryan countered this last night; after a heckling from demanding asshats, he wandered off stage, then came back with a megaphone and started to heckle them back, demanding they change their clothes, hairstyle, or how they were sitting. Then he complained that the curtains were the wrong colour, and finally ranted “Don’t you just hate the 21st century – everyone has to be in fucking control”. This drew applause from the normal people in the crowd, but of course didn’t silence the asshats. We need more snakes for that task.

The show was limited to just over 2 hours as the DAR Constitution Hall has an 11pm curfew on all shows, but it was a great 2 hours. Standout songs included “Cold Roses”, in my opinion one of the greatest songs of all-time, with a guitar riff running throughout that can compete with any riff of old, and has hence earned its place as Eddie’s ring tone on his phone. “Why Do They Leave” demonstrated his heart-breaking lyrical talent, as well as his insanely outstanding harmonica playing. Moving to the piano to play a simply gorgeous rendition of “Halloweenhead”, before picking up the guitar again to play a perfect “When The Stars Go Blue”. Re-workings of “Bartering Lines” and “Shakedown On Ninth Street” were stand-outs in the second set, along with a 15-minute version of “Goodnight Rose”. This, as well as his one encore – another 15-minute reworking, this time for “Easy Plateau” – both seemed very reminiscent of Pink Floyd in their extended instrumental riffs. Very talented, very self-indulgent, very cool, very special, and very Ryan.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see Ryan live, do so at your next opportunity. A word of warning though; don’t go into a show expecting anything – every show is entirely different. The only expectation you should have is that you will see a musical genius at work. It isn’t hard to understand why his music has such power over his fans, and has the ability to break a heart of stone.

Now excuse me while I break my own heart tonight…


~ by eddie on October 31, 2007.

One Response to “Ryan Adams… Genius”

  1. Double swoon.

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