After a few quick drinks at home with friends, we walked a couple blocks to Webster Hall where Ryan Adams was kicking off a string of shows with The Stills. Now I said I had a few drinks, but questioned their effect when I walked in the door to find that at Webster Hall they must enjoy ìpat down î The beefy guys that looked like they just finished a day of SWAT training had even formed two gender-segregated lines, and after a very thorough search and a double pat on my ass (thanks, Coach!) we were all back together and on our way in.
Adams began the show by pointing out that proceeds from the event would go to both Bowery Mission and Housing Works, the charity that he has been involved with since moving to NYC. There was a coat drive at the door and as cold as it was, Ryan asked the crowd to tough it out and drop coats off on the way out. A room of hipsters giving away their prized overpriced coats?! Not a chance, but kudos for the effort.
After taking care of that piece of business, Adams took the stage with a bottle of champagne in his hand and a shit-eating grin on his face. He was ready to have some fun, and thatís what he did for the next two hours. Adams was all over the place playing crowd pleasers ìNew York, New Yorkî and ìTo Be Youngî (recently given new life on the soundtrack of Old School), while primarily choosing to highlight his newer songs off both Rock and Roll and Love is Hell Vol. I. He also introduced a new song, well....more like a jingle called ìI know you guys want to hear old stuff, but this is why we play new stuffî which helped clear up his feelings about his label 's choices in releasing new material.
He continued to play with the crowd by repeating a song as fast as he could, using the mic cord as a lasso sending tech guys scrambling, and even ordering a double Red Bull and vodka from the stage (yup, he got it). He finished the set with a performance of "Burning Photographs" from the audience and had the crowd jumping with him before taking his bow from the stage.
Adams returned to the stage alone for the encore, where he played an absolutely breathtaking rendition of ìCome Pick Me Upî off his critically acclaimed 2000 release, Heartbreaker. The rest of the band hit the stage and Adams wailed out ìSo Alive,î spiked his guitar on the stage, tossed his glass of wine in the air, and left the stage to an extremely satisfied crowd.
With all the opinionated reviews of Ryan Adamsí recent release Rock and Roll it was a treat to see it in a live setting. What many people take for granted is that Ryan is an incredible guitarist, but that was more than evident last night. Iíve got to say that I love the new disc, but seeing him rip through it live proved that he can rock with the best of them.
Source: Ryan Harrington