After a lazy Saturday- a late lunch/early dinner with my sister, brother in law and my niece at Ponce's, some cleaning and just hanging around and I was finally ready to head downtown for the Ryan Adams show. I was trying hard not to get too excited about the show. The last show I caught at the House of Blues left a lot to be desired for me, so this time around I didn't know what to expect. I was happy when I got into the venue to discover Andrea was able to find tickets at the show in the row directly in front of me, so I sat with her.
Ryan was already onstage, tooling around by himself. Or rather, "JJ Bouillabaise" was onstage tooling around, playing some songs on piano, then doing an impromptu song about San Diego. It was clear he was in a good mood and was going to be quite entertaining. He played briefly, then the houselights came up for about 20 minutes before the actual show started.
From the first note to the last note, Ryan did not disappoint. The band sounded beautiful, as most bands do in Spreckels. The cacti onstage were a little cheesy but allowed for some pretty lighting throughout the night. He jumped around between guitars and his piano, but my favorite songs of the night were the ones he played without any instruments because it was during those songs he was really able to bust out his amazing voice. I took notes for the setlist, so here's the best I got:
Please Do Not Let Me Go
This House Is Not For Sale
Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part
Stars Go Blue
? (this is when security was buggings us about our seats, even though we were in the right place)
The Sun Also Sets
A Kiss Before I Go
(song performed by guitarist on lead vox)
After the show, a bunch of people were waiting for setlists or whatever, but I just jumped over the little barrier and got the attention of a stage hand and asked him for the list. He was pulling it up for me when he got scolded by an older dude to not ever give anything away from the stage. Boo.
Didn't matter, though, because it was a beautiful show and I felt all giddy the whole time. With Ryan, you never know what you're gonna get. When he's off, even just a little, the shows can be really disappointing. But in this case, when Ryan is on, he is sooo on, and I certainly feel like I was lucky to be there.
After the intermission, the row in front of us was empty, so I took the opportunity for some shaky/poorly lit recording. Andrea didn't know I was recording so you can hear her a little but it's still a pretty good representation of the show.
A Kiss Before I Go, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
I also uploaded some sound files from the show from my nifty digital recorder. I recently bought it so I wasn't sure how well the sound would come out, and it picked up talking and stuff, but here were some of my favorite songs of the night:
This version of "Cold Roses" actually got a standing ovation and it wasn't even the last song of the night.
The song with the question mark you missed because secuirty was screwing with you was "Ths House Is Not For Sale". I defintiely remember because thats one of my favorite songs from him.
You have "This House Is Not For Sale" listed already. Sorry about that. My short term memory is truly horrible. Damn, I'm stumped about that missing song now!!
I forgot my camera and really wanted a photo of that sign. I was hoping to find one. Thanks.
It really was a great show.
I noticed the mock saguaro catci in the background. How long do you think it will be before late 80's/early 90's desert rock a la the Lemonheads, the Meat Puppets, the Butthole Surfers, the Sidewinders, the Gin Blossoms and the Ups and Downs comes screaming back in retro form? I say in about five to seven years, just after retro grunge dies down. I welcome it myself - I'm about tired of this AmeriTrash scene. No one should be allowed to wear scarves unless it's below 50 degrees outside.
On a related note, have you ever seen the drink special sign at the Hi-Tone Lounge in Memphis? I visited there about four years ago, and my personal favorite was "The Scenester - Pabst Blue Ribbon 'with a lime' - $4.00," replete with a white board drawing of someone resembling Bob Dylan circa "Blonde on Blonde" but with a Graham Coxon haircut. It was hilarious.
Kudos to those who keep things lighthearted. Anyone who takes themselves too seriously deserve to be knocked down a notch.
Have you seen "Seven Ages of Rock: Art Rock?" Roger Waters' comment at the end about the fan screaming without actually listening to the music embodied why I don't go to shows at the Pink Elephant anymore. The King Khan audience was full of such knuckleheads. It's a shame - it would be a nice place to see a show if the audience didn't spazz out so hard and knock small women over (I thought hipsters were supposed to be pro-feminist).
I don't think that part was an actual song; it was when Ryan was wishing his bandmate happy birthday- so I think he was only improvising some sort of birthday sing a long. We just laughed that security assumed we were in the wrong seats when it turned out the couple in their 50s next to us were supposed to be up in the terrace. Dumbasses.
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