Click the photo for a slideshow. Thanks to the Ryan Adams camp for allowing us to take photos from the "back of the house."



Last Night: Ryan Adams and the Cardinals at The Moore

Cardinals impress; subdued Adams skips Heartbreaker.

Click the photo for a slideshow. Thanks to the Ryan Adams camp for allowing us to take photos from the "back of the house."

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
When: Friday, July 27
Where: The Moore Theatre

By Hannah Levin

Clearly, a cleaned-up Ryan is a more reliable Ryan, which is certainly a good thing. That reality makes me feel even worse about making this observation: last night’s show was almost too flawless. Though the previous infant terrible’s clearer headspace no doubt played a big part, what impressed me the most were the Cardinals, his long-running backing band. Hell, I’d go to a show just to watch them. Effortlessly improvising while gracefully and methodically warming up the room with each of the set’s eighteen songs, the five players seemed to be operating as part of the same central nervous system. Witnessing a band communicate so seamlessly was impressive, right down to the atmospherics they conjured to smooth over Adam’s multiple tuning breaks.

It was a restrained, tantrum-free affair overall, with subtle lighting changes throughout the set,  and an affable and uncharacteristically quiet Adams keeping the between-song banter to a minimum, save for a few missives directed at noisy audience members and a brief discussion of the Moore Theater’s supposedly haunted history. The simply dressed stage was augmented by a solitary jack-o-lantern, a teasing prop that seemed to indicate we would eventually be treated to “Halloween Head,” one of Easy Tiger’s more raucous numbers. No dice—in fact, the offerings from that record were puzzling. With the exception of the brazenly Harvest-influenced “I Taught Myself How to Grow Old,” he skipped over most of the album’s strongest tracks, including “Rip Off,” “Two Hearts,” and “Goodnight Rose.” The emphasis instead was on the Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights-era, which seemed to please the reverent audience, but sorta started putting me to sleep. Too bad, because if I had stuck around for the encore, I would have heard him do a cover of Alice in Chains’, “In the Hole,” which was by all accounts, stunning. Unfortunately, when it became evident that he wasn’t going to share a single track from Heartbreaker, I began losing interest. All that said, I commend the kid for getting his act together, finally.


Please Do Not Let Me Go
Magnolia Mountain
Off Broadway
Cold Roses
Oh My God Whatever, Etc.
The Sun Also Sets
This Is It
Easy Plateau
I Taught Myself To Grow Old
Carolina Rain
What Sin
Dear John

Blue Sky Blues
Down In The Hole

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