An eventful Friday meant that the opening act was missed. Eventful in a not very happy way, but that’s life. The long week of rain wasn’t helping. Still, time to see a musician I’ve waited ages to see live (c’mon, drop by México!)
It’s hard to describe in words the emotions that exude from witnessing Ryan Adams live. There’s sadness but there’s also a lot of humour. “I’m here to sing you sad bastard songs” says Ryan Adams after entering the stage. ‘Oh, my sweet Carolina’. Hey, he warned us. We just didn’t heed the warning bells.
The setlist was like a healthy trail mix (with extra M&M‘s), taking some tracks from the recent banger Ashes & Fire (our review), some classics from Heartbreaker (‘My winding wheel’ – yes!) and some from the ones that hold a slot in my repeat list: Love is Hell (‘English girls approximately’, ‘Please do not let me go’) and Jacksonville City Nights (‘The end’, a song about his father).
Pop references a plenty were thrown. The very funny “Mr. Cat”, a spoken word communication with a pet at the other side of the ocean included jokes about Jefferson Starship, Mannequin, how fish and chips is weird and the rainy weather. It also segued into ‘New York, New York’, which sounds just perfect on piano.
There was an encore. Once Mr. Adams came back, two songs were on the wishlist. They would be hard to take due to life’s way of lobbing spanners into our works. Lo and behold, he played ‘Nutshell’. From quick chord check, goose pimples declared war on my body. It’s a song that defines the 90s in a way no other song defines those long gone years.
With a catalogue as vast as the one Ryan Adams has, it would be impossible to cover all bases that the considerable fandom present that night would demand. As it was, the setlist was 2 kinds of perfect, the execution was heartfelt and although the rain still persisted and the songs were “sad miserable bastard music” (need a t-shirt with this, en chinga!), the smiles were wide and the public was more than satisfied.
And hey, when are you ever going to listen to Alice in Chains‘ ‘Them Bones’ blasting out in Sheffield City Hall as the house lights go on?
1) Oh My Sweet Carolina
2) Ashes & Fire
3) If I Am A Stranger
4) Dirty Rain
5) My Winding Wheel
6) The Rescue Blues
7) Please Do Not Let Me Go
8) Do I Wait
10) Everybody Knows
11) Sweet Lil’ Gal (23rd/1st)
12) Why Do They Leave?
13) English Girls Approximately
14) Chains Of Love
15) 16 Days
16) Mr. Cat / New York, New York
17) Lucky Now
18) The End
19) Come Pick Me Up
Words: Samuel J. Valdés López.