Friday, September 21, 2007

Polar Opposite

"it's still ryan adams"

Words never been exchanged and mutually vocalized more clearly across 80 time zones. My good buddy and r.adams introductory tutor (some 4 years ago), presently resides in Sydney, Australia., which saw Ryan come crashing through some weeks ago. His statement was to encourage my spirits to the fact that Adams was a major disappointment in his Oz showing (acting a miss, storming off the stage, little energy) and I was hesitantly about to embark on the ryan adams adventure myself. Not that I could breath to let any opportunity pass of seeing the man live, but just nervous anxiety, 'if...could I fall off an elevated seat on the wagon?'.

Fast forward to present typing, and the hilarity to understand I put that in question, as I personally know 6 individuals who are now pushing there way onto that ever busy bandwagon.

Knowing Montreal's proficiency for gigs starting on time and early, we got to our seats promptly for the 8pm showtime. Looking across the balcony, I was embarrassed to see more than half the seats empty (blame shall fall on the promoter, $60 seats, just cause the 'Rolling Stones' took the year off touring, come on!). Although, no complaints here, it provided benefit twofold: firstly, in my ever appreciative position in the music world I somehow landed an extra (6) guest list passes, including two tickets front row center. More importantly, it gave Ryan ever more silence to lay down his talented vocals.

To state the common sentiment 'you could hear a pin drop' would have you inhaling without truly smoking, so I'll drag it into the lungs; up in the balcony mid-song, a companion of mine, carefully got up to leave her seat (to bring ticket for a friend waiting in the wings), and corner of my eye I caught her guiding the belly of the seat up slowly to its resting place as to avoid whatever slight creaking might escape and in some possibility disrupt the performance.

It's no secret that Ryan Adams is the extreme of a hit or miss, there is no middle ground, he either connects and gives you a breathtaking show, or he coldly isolates himself and shuns his abilities from the crowd, electing to combat with verbal abuse. Well, pardon my love of baseball, but on this warm September night in Montreal, he hit one for extra bases.

It's incredible how well his music can transcend from album to live, if I might be so brave as to claim, it might even sound eighty-four times better. For two sets, two encores and a grand total of 21 songs (and there's not many three minute songs to be found here..see set list below) the select crowd who made the right decision to hit up the St.Denis Theatre this night were hypnotized for approximately two hours.

And when it was all said and done, wasn't done! In my decade of going to gigs I understood that when the venue lights came on, the show was over. But before anyone reached the 'sortie' signs, storming back came Ryan and the Cardinals, quickly retorting "that's fine we can play with the lights on" (they were quickly turned down again) and all stood in amazement witness of an outstanding take of "Easy Plateau".

*pictures courtesy of Danielle Smith

Ryan Adams - St. Denis Theatre, Montreal - September 19th, 2007

1st Set
Please Do Not Let Me Go
Peaceful Valley
Beautiful Sorta
Wild Flowers
Off Broadway
Dear John
Goodnight Rose
Blue Hotel
Magnolia Mountain
I See Monsters

2nd Set
Sylvia Plath (solo piano)
Sweet Lil Gal (solo piano)
Rescue Blues
Dear Chicago
Shakedown on 9th Street
Cold Roses

Encore #1
Night Birds
Goodnight Hollywood Boulevard

Encore #2
Easy Plateau

I'm sorry Eric.

*AA stands for 'front f'n row'(to Danielle)

The band came out in good spirits and it showed. The between song stage chatter hit a varied of topics (the ridiculous 'bon jovi'/being english in a french bookstore/fret gods/a Cardinal's hunt for bringing a pretty montreal gal back to his hotel), it all gave a positive indication they wouldn't get side-tracked or turned around by any dummy audience requests and when one girl vocally proclaimed her love, without hesitation Ryan hit back "yeah, but than there's the angry text messages, seduce and abandonment, things just get crazy, I mean crazy!" .
And when said 'dummy's' did yell out song requests, the responses were fresh cuts, one man requesting "two" and getting "one" back from the singer (assuming the man to be single), a fellow annoyed audience member also coming to Ryan's defence stating "i don't think he'll get there". At another request of "to be young", the man was embarrassed when he got back "Dad?, how did you get into Canada?, I thought they wouldn't let you through with that criminal record!". But it was all light hearted, with Adams even poking fun at himself, in stating "I'm not the type who would storm off a stage, I've never played a show on drugs and alcohol, I'm the reasonable person in the band"

1 comment:

Mike said...

coming from someone who should have been at that show ... thanks for posting. this one's gonna sting for a while, but ther'll be other shows.
after reading a review from the previous show of the tour in Portland Maine I'm real happy Ryan decided to show up AND stick around for you guys.