Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Monday October 29, 2007 Carnegie Music Hall Pittsburgh, PA
Set 1: Peaceful Valley/Beautiful Sorta/A Kiss Before I
Go/Goodnight Rose/Down in a Hole/Nightbirds*/When The Stars Go Blue/Everybody
Why Do They Leave/Rescue Blues*/Halloween Head*/Freeway To the Canyon/Off Broadway
Set 2: Mockingbird/Cold Roses/Shakedown/Bartering Lines/Please Do Not Let Me Go/The End/'Evening Joke'/Happy Birthday 'Spacewolf'/Let It Ride/
The Sun Also Sets/To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)/Come Pick Me Up/Two
*-Ryan on piano
I was seriously considering to bail on this show for a couple reasons. First, there were sporadic reports from this tour that Ryan was having his infamous 'meltdowns' on stage. Why spend $40 to watch a brat have a hissy-fit? Also, I wasn't exactly digging the new release Easy Tiger as much as his other stuff and I knew that he was playing a lot of it during his sets. Finally, I had a sneaking suspicion that my camera would be banned from the show because it's a 'pro' camera. Uhggg...so dumb. I am glad to say that none of my worries materialized. He and the band put on a stellar performance and save for a few favorites of mine ('Magnolia Mountain', 'Games') that he didn't play, the show was perfect.
I was worried going in the venue when they were checking bags and while I waiting for the usher to scrutinize the lady's purse in front of me I said, "Fuck, it." and just kept on going, right past them. Hell, I didn't really need a ticket since she didn't rip it. Nice to know in the future...wink, wink.
Before the show Ryan was onstage with his crew adjusting an organ or something and this little girl in the row in front of me starts flashing all kinds of pics with her D-SLR. I guess Ryan got annoyed because a few minutes later security came over and told her she couldn't take pictures during the show with her 'professional' camera. Sucks to be her, right? He didn't say anything to me. Can someone please explain to me why it's a such a crime to allow ahem,,,'professional' cameras into a venue? I'm going to sell them? Regardless, I was super-stealth with it all night, which doesn't make it the ideal situation when trying to take photos. Add the fact that his stage set-up was designed to rival a fucking darkroom and your talking about a very challenging night.
Early in the set (after the first song!) some dildo starts yelling, "Turn up the vocals!" He kept this going for awhile and the audience seemed terrified that this might set Ryan off. Really, it was comical to hear a nervous collective 'SHHHHH' all throughout the crowd. It was as though if they responded to this jerk without more yelling it would escalate the problem. He actually shrugged it off by saying that it sounded fine up there. I really didn't hear any vocal problems myself. They sounded perfect to me.
During the second set, Ryan jumped into the audience during Jon Graboff's 'Joke of the Day' and started heckling him with things like, "You suck!", Ryan Adams & The Crapinals!", "Summer of '69!". Graboff played along and asked security to give him his money back and kick him out! Classic!
It was really a fantastic performance. It actually made me reconsider 'Easy Tiger'. Many songs I didn't pay much attention to before ('Please Do Not Let Me Go', 'Mockingbird', Night Birds') sounded excellent. Some were complaining the show was too jammy but practically growing up on The Grateful Dead, I can't complain. He was very apologetic that they had to stop at 11:00 p.m. due to the venue's strict curfew. Well then why waste a half hour before the show tinkering with an organ he never even used? Minor complaint.
Ryan Adams autographed Gold CD cover
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals autographed Follow The Lights EP CD Cover
Ryan Adams autographed print
Ryan Adams autographed flyer
After the show the band came out and were very nice. Ryan noticed the print I had and said the original which I gave his manager last time he was here is in his desk at home with his other drawing and notes. The desk he writes all his songs from! Yeah, boyeeeee!
He then told me the Garcia ceramic tile I made is in a prominent place in his house. When you walk in, the first thing you see is a shelf with three objects on it. A large hourglass a friend gave him, my Garcia-tile in the middle and the last bottle of wine he bought but never drank. He told me it's a real inspiration to him and that next time he comes to town he'll bring me something! Very cool!
from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Music Review: Ryan Adams and the Cardinals play Dead
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It used to be that the joke at a Ryan Adams concert was to holler for "Summer of '69." But the funniest thing anyone yelled Monday night at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland was "Friend of the Devil!"
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals might as well have played that Jerry Garcia gem because they spent most of the night channeling the Dead.
The knock on Adams, young and brilliant as he is, has always been a slavish devotion to his influences, whether it's the Replacements, Dylan, Neil Young or T-Rex. For the time being, his compass has stopped on the Dead, big time. When Spin asked him recently to name his favorite punk band, he said the Dead, and he had a cool, cosmic Dead shirt on Monday night.
Not that you could see it all that well. Adams and his band played in virtual darkness, with just a touch of backlighting and a beautiful starry backdrop. If you walked in during "Goodnight Rose," you may have thought you just walked into Laser Dead.
The show was even structured like the Dead, with two sets totaling almost 21/2 hours and frequent pauses between songs, allowing the crowd license to speak up on the sound and song selection. (At one point, a fan on the left shouted an obscenity at a boisterous fan on the right, prompting Adams to mumble, "I can't tell what's going on out there ... I don't drink beer." Later, Adams himself descended into the crowd to call out "Cuts Like a Knife!")
Adams drew from the full range of his solo career, slowing a lot of the songs down to Dead speed, even ones like "Let It Ride," "Shakedown on 9th Street" and "Halloweenhead," performed as a piano ballad. The vocal harmonies and guitar work between Adams and Neal Casal were rarely less than gorgeous.
Adams' supple voice is one of the best instruments and best kept secrets in the music business, and it was breathtaking on "The Sun Also Sets" and "Come Pick Me Up," among others. He can play guitar as well, often joining Casal on sick synchronized leads like the one on "Cold Roses."
But just like most of his records have been slightly flawed, so was the concert. There were long stretches that were pretty but painfully slow. The Dead were masterful at taking the crowd to transcendent heights, bringing them down, and taking them back up again. If Adams is going to continue to helm one of the best jam bands going, he needs to refer back to the Dick's Picks archive, preferably something nice from '72 or '77.
A Ryan Adams show is one of the great rock 'n' roll question marks of the Common Era; historically, you pretty much have a 50/50 chance of witnessing either brilliancy or breakdown. Will Adams pick a fight with the monitor engineer (or a fan) and storm offstage after three songs? Or will he play for three hours nonstop? Will he charm his audience or revolt it?
Fortunately for those at last night's sold-out Carnegie Music Hall performance, Adams kept the capriciousness under control, delivering a solid show of career-spanning music to an elated crowd with the help of his stellar four-piece band, the Cardinals. Despite a few sound issues at the onset (which the guy in the balcony yelling "More Vocals!" definitely didn't help), the band hit full stride early on and justified the range of Adams' material.
New songs like "Goodnight Rose" and "Two" sounded even better than the versions on his latest record, "Easy Tiger," -- though everybody on stage seemed more comfortable plowing through classic tunes like "Come Pick Me Up," "Stars Go Blue" and "Please, Do Not Let Me Go." Adams was enjoying himself, it seemed, commenting on the beauty of the venue and even taking time to mock himself by sitting in the crowd and yelling "requests" at his band onstage.
He's still a strange bird, though. He'd pause for minutes between songs to hug a speaker or chug a Diet Coke. He'd mumble into the microphone. At times, he acted like the show was his first ever performance in front of a live audience. But then he'd launch into a classic barnstormer like "Rescue Blues" and all would be forgiven. Despite his idiosyncrasies, there's no denying he's a pro. Furthermore, he seemed near apologetic when he told the crowd he had to stop the show due to the Carnegie's strict 11 o'clock curfew.
Considering what else could have transpired, we got a good one.
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Friday May 13, 2005 Mr. Small's Funhouse Millvale, PA
w/ Rachael Yamagata
Ryan Adams autographed ticket stub
Set 1: A Kiss Before I Go/The End/What Sin?/Magnolia Mountain/Peaceful
Beautiful Sorta/When The Stars Go Blue/Shakedown On 9th Street/Cold Roses
Set 2 : To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)/Harder Now That It's Over/Please Do Not Let Me Go/The Rescue Blues*
Caught In A Dream (?Elizabeth, You Were Born to Play The Part?)*/Nightbirds (aborted)*/La Cienega Just Smiled/Easy Plateau/Trains
*-Ryan solo (piano)
Weird stuff happening on Friday the13th at Mr' Small's. It started out as a beautiful night but would quickly go downhill.
I arrive early to snag a front row spot for the show. Hanging and talking with others for a good hour passing the time. Rachel Yamagata comes out with her "Lilith Fair" vibe and tries to do her best against a growing and talkative crowd. With two songs left in her set, I make the decision to hit the can. I tell the people next to me to save my spot, I'll be right back. BIG mistake. Upon returning there seems to be a couple people who decide to not let me return to my spot. I try to explain that I was here an hour before doors and the people in the front row are waving me on, but these cocksucking, motherfucking, shit-eating, dickhead-being, ASSHOLES!!! won't let me through. I mean they are getting physical. Fine. Fuck you. I just move down a couple spaces and get in front of these obnoxious girls who decide to smoke and yap it up all through the set. The people in front of me are relieved that I am standing in behind them and not these sloppy hosebags. The idiots who wouldn't let me pass to my space are still yelling at me, "Kill the Hippie!"
What fucking dildos. Cool pony-tail man, you piece of shit fuck-tard. What are you looking at you stupid cunt? Fuck you too, asshat. Anyhoo...
Ryan and his band come out and play a disjointed, awkwardly-paced, killer couple of sets. I have never seen him play before and was happy with the show. Sure, he scolded a talkative, rowdy, PACKED, sweaty crowd a few times, but there were moments of pure brilliance in his singing and playing that made up for all of that. Highlights were 'La Cienega Just Smiled', 'To Be Young...', 'Harder Now That It's Over', a piano 'Rescue Blues', and 'Magnolia Mountian'. Really killer stuff. He played a ton of yet to be released songs which made for a more restless audience. At one point someone yelled a request and he replied, "I am playing what I want. You might want it a different way. If you had a restaurant and you made me a burger, I wouldn't tell you what to fuckin' put on it." All in all a really good show.
So at the end of the night after the house lights come on, I am hanging with a couple people and the Nazi security form a line and start sweeping the lingering crowd out of the hall. As soon as we step outside we get drenched with those BIG raindrops that have apparently been falling all night. People start scattering to their cars and since I am parked up behind the venue where the tourbus is, I am not going anywhere, yet. From all previous accounts, the entire tour, he and his band have been coming out after the show and signing stuff, posing for pictures with fans, and generally being super cool. In anticipation for this I brought my CD covers, some flyers I produced, and a pencil drawing. I wait a few minutes in my car as the rain slows a tad and go to the bus to see what's up. There is one guy with his girlfriend babbling on about having Ryan score his independent film or something. His girlfriend is getting annoyed saying she wants to leave because she's moving at 6 a.m. NEVER bring the old lady to wait after a show. I've done it a few times and it is totally a drag. We are standing there and Liz Berlin of Rusted Root comes out and sees what we are doing there. She's a part owner of the place. I guess with all the 'Send Me On My Way' royalties she had to invest it somewhere. We're just hanging. She tells us to come to her CD release party here next week. Yeah, right. Sounds like record of the year to me. She's even scamming people with a "Bonus" package for 25 clams.
Liz Berlin VIP Ticket
VIP CABARET Includes:
# An autographed copy of Liz's new CD-Fucking worthless. Wait for it in the cut-out bin in two weeks.
# Early admission to the show-To do what, have a shvitz in that sauna you call a concert hall?
# Exclusive wine tasting-Yeah, I'm sure they're gonna' have the top shelf stuff out. "More Le Stooges Trois '89, sir?"
# and special entertainment to be announced.-Special entertainment? Probably 'Ling-Ling: the horse who can suck his own dick'. Or even worse, Rusted Root
I don't think she's down because a couple minutes later security arrives. Fucking snitch. Before that though, I notice someone getting off the bus and walk over and ask if I could give Ryan some artwork I produced? I'm assuming he's his tour manager. He said O.K. and invited me down into the building to get out of the rain. So far, so good. I give him the Jerry tile since he's into The Grateful Dead now, and the pencil drawing below.
He says that Ryan will love it. I ask him about the chance of an autograph. He says sorry no, Ryan is sick. Sick? He was slugging down a whole bottle of wine during the show, c'mon. I almost go into my Marcia Brady/Davey Jones routine:
"But you don't understand. I am the president of the Pittsburgh area Ryan Adams Fan Club. He wrote a personal letter to me, Hugh Twyman, saying that if he's ever in town he would help me out."
No such luck. The guy couldn't have been more nice, though. I am not done yet. I go back up and wait with the other guy and his girl (who's absolutely livid by now) and some meatball, goombah, soap-dropping, brother-humping, crotch-smelling, dumbshitted, rectal-guzzling, shit-slurping, dick-munching, puss-nibbling, fuck-brained, candy-assed, donkey-molesting prick comes out and tells us to move because they are loading the tourbus and we are in the way. No problem. I go swing behind the corner and wait at the front of the bus out of the way, right? This motherfucker follows me and starts to get mad. "What did I just tell you? Hey, I know you, we had this problem before." I don't know what this ape is talking about. He is insisting that I have been doing this before and the dickwad starts threatening me. Holy Shit! This is so not worth it. If it wasn't raining, I would have walked across the street just to piss off this cockchugger. Oh well, at least I gave the tour manager the name of my website. Maybe Ryan will contact me. Yeah, like that's gonna happen.
To top everything off, I am stuck with an unsigned, $20 shirt. What was I thinking? This has to be the ugliest tourshirt ever. I think I picked this particular shirt because it looks like Ryan did the artwork. It doesn't fit me and my wife wants to burn it.
Without saying, that's the LAST show I will ever attend at Mr. Small's. I am so disgusted I just might dedicate this whole website to shutting the place down. Fuck those Fucking Fuckers.
Ryan Adams autographed flyer
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review:
Fans packed tight into steamy Mr. Small's on Friday night got the full Ryan Adams treatment -- mercurial talent, brilliant sense of melody, uncanny ability to channel influences and even some of that legendary petulance.
Adams could show up next week playing post-punk, art-rock or bluegrass, but at the moment he is enthralled by The Grateful Dead, and that showed in the sound, the long wild hair and beard, and the sprawling 21/2-hour set that didn't wrap until the clock struck 12.
Like the Dead, Dylan or Neil Young -- who are clearly his heroes -- Adams does his thing, less concerned with the crowd than his own expression. Although he just released a two-disc set, 'Cold Roses,' and has a rich back catalog, he came out with his new band, The Cardinals, playing a string of songs that didn't come from either. The first two were country rockers; the third was a slow, spooky piece of bluesy acid rock a la The Doors.
Then, if you closed your eyes, you'd swear the Dead were on stage for "Magnolia Mountain," a gorgeous, swelling ballad that became an epic jam delicately segueing into another more fuzzed-out one on "Don't Give Up on Love." Adams apologized for the extra volume, explaining that they packed a big rig into a small place, but it was the kind of loud that just felt good.
The Cardinals were also packing three guitarists, one on pedal steel, but it was Adams handling most of the solos. We knew he could sing and write with the best of them. Who knew he could play like Jerry Garcia?
Actually, like Garcia with more firepower. The guitars were majestic, playing in sync on "Cold Roses" and getting dirty on a "Shakedown on 9th Street" that was played like ZZ Top's "La Grange."
Things got weird when he sat down at the piano during the second set. "Rescue Blues" was stunning, but when The Cardinals left and Adams attempted two quiet, emotional songs from his next album, there was too much competition from the rude people in the back. He gave up on the second, saying, "I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt your conversation."
Rather than leave in a huff, Adams stayed for three more songs, including another Dead-like tour de force, "Easy Plateau."
What Adams still has to learn from the Dead and those others is how to build the right pacing and momentum. He has everything else down beautifully.
Review by Scott Mervis,
Post-Gazette Weekend editor
Pittsburgh Tribune Review review
A sound system too large for the venue, some guitar woes and a performer with a volatile reputation aren't the best ingredients for a memorable concert.
But Ryan Adams -- who proved a gracious performer on this night -- overcame those hurdles Friday at Mr. Small's Funhouse in a loud, sometimes raucous show.
Most of the material came from Adams' new double disk, Cold Roses, which has a country-rock meets Grateful Dead feel. But Adams amped up the music live, with guitarist J. P. Bowersock playing Frank Sampedro to Adams' Neil Young in what could have been a Crazy Horse tribute. 'Magnolia Mountain' and especially 'Beautiful Sorta' had the feel of rave-ups, and Adams proved to be an underrated guitarist.
Some of the evening's best moments, however, were the quietest, especially the new song 'Now That You're Gone,' and the heartbreaking 'Harder Now That It's Over' and 'Rescue Blues,' played solo at the piano.
-- Rege Behe
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