“DJ Reggie“ Ryan Adams just finished a three-show run at New York’s Town Hall earlier this week. My friend Dave was at the Wednesday show (where Leona Naess opened -how was that?- and Ryan rocked the glittery platform boots and the inexplicable samurai ponytail) and he sent me the following communique that I thought I’d share with you. Ryan played a killer setlist, even if it was a bit short. I am glad to hear that he is clean and sober and performing strongly. You know, honoring his musical talent and all that.
Well, quick notes on the show last night, which was the strongest since I’ve seen Ryan at the Beacon on his birthday a few years back.
As some remember, last time I saw Ryan 1.5 years ago I walked out three songs into his second set. He was fucked up, a mess, tinkering here, tinkering there. I was 12 feet from the stage and wanted to jump up there and kill him.
So last night walked in with trepidation and sitting on the seat feel of “oh god, when is he going to snap?”
Wow…..7 songs, 7 I love. Hell the first 3 are songs I want to see every time I see him. Knowing he was not repeating these three nights, I had a pretty good feeling after the first 2 nights. I saw a lot left in the tank. His guitar playing is excellent again, and “Love is Hell” and “This is It” were flat out scorching.
Unfortunately, we were subjected to a break, which I hate he’s added. I mean 7 songs and we get a break? Maybe I’m scared since normally this is when Ryan would go smoke 1/2 ounce and drink 2 bottles of red.
Wish You Were Here
Blue Sky Blues
My Winding Wheel
The Rescue Blues
Another strong start here. 2 more rockers to open. He said before Hallelujah that he has been sober for 7 months, and he’s been playing a lot that he hasn’t played live. Also good comments how he realizes what an asshole he must have been when he wasn’t sober based on what he hears from the crowd at times. “Assholes attract other assholes”
Unfortunately, there was no encore. He did “Rescue Blues,” left the stage, crowd called for one for a few minutes then house lights up. 2 more songs after that point would have made this one of my fav shows of the year.
However, as Marc pointed out, be careful what you wish for as we may have gotten a 25 minute Wharf Rat.
I got good feelings about a sober Ryan now based on this performance. This was the Ryan Adams I became a fan of, and I’m hopeful that next year he’ll continue rediscovering his rock/alt country roots and leaving the dead jams behind.
- Town Hall is a great, intimate venue.
-First set he had the Ace Frehley boots on, second set the Gene Simmons. How he walks or let alone plays piano in these is beyond me.
-He is equally as strange sober as not. However, so much more focused.
-Crowd was excellent. Dead quiet for the right songs. Only a few idiots, and the obligatory “Freebird” yell.
VIDEO: Final song, Rescue Blues
(more video here from all three nights)