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Ryan Adams in Minneapolis 12-14-11

December 14, 2011

I have had the good fortune of seeing the “good” Ryan Adams over the years.  Last night was one of those “good” nights in Minneapolis.  This was a solo show – just Ryan, two guitars and a piano.  He played a wonderful cross section of his career – I am way too lazy to keep a set list so see here.  He spun the wheel from Whiskeytown to his most recent LP.

Ryan was in a slow and savor it mood.  When you grab a piece of caramel you have two choices gobble it down or let it melt in your mouth – this was a melt in your mouth show.  Ryan took his repertoire and down shifted.  A song like “New York” that was first presented on record as a fast up-beat rocker was presented here as a dirge. As a long time fan I was delighted by this deconstruction.

Ryan played his songs earnestly but between songs he was wonderfully goofball – telling bad jokes, offbeat stories, and singing to himself as he moved himself from one position on stage to another.  When singing a song he took himself seriously, but between songs he did not – gleefully poking fun at himself.  Even at one point extemporaneously composing and mocking his own songwriting cliches.

As a long time fan, I felt I had been invited into Ryan’s living room for a jam.  He played a generous 2:45 hours.  Although that was extended by stories and stumbling tunings.  He even made muffed tunings a hoot by delightfully cursing his guitars and the cool humid air that was torturing them.

He mocked the end of his show saying ” this is the part of the show where I being planning my exit strategy” but totally delighted the Minneapolis crowd by finishing the show with a Bob Mould song (naturally an obscure one). Just prior to that he showed his glam rock cred by covering a tacky Ratt song.  Chuck Klosterman would have been proud.

Opener Jessica Lea Mayfield was predictably bad.  I had listened to her album “Tell Me” for breakfast – it is a very good album, but it is good because of the arrangement/instrumentation. I knew if she tried this solo it would be questionable and unfortunately it was.

From → Music Reviews

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