|Ryan Adams & Jason Isbell at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham. Wednesday 25th April 2012|
Searching for the 'first dance' song at my wedding…..
Here I sit with a blank sheet of paper twelve hours after the gig, still trying to suppress the urge to gush. I’ll try my best but it may be difficult. This was a truly wonderful show.
The venue was perfect, sound magnificent, audience respectful (no cameras, only a handful of shouts towards the end). Two men, three guitars and a piano and what looked like two or three cups of tea.
A healthy attentive crowd in for ex Drive By Truckers (sans The 400 Unit) Jason Isbell. One man, one guitar and, a canon of songs that other artists can just dream of creating. I saw a full band show in
A short interval and the clock strikes 8.50pm as Ryan, one man, two guitars and a piano, strolls on stage to a rapturous reception. As he strikes the opening cords to ‘Sweet Carolina’ hush descends on the audience to the extent that you could hear a pin drop, (well, I couldn’t after forty years of gigs, but you know what I mean) followed quickly by ‘Ashes and Fire’. The audience are hooked and in a rhythm: quiet, thunderous applause, quiet, thunderous applause for the rest of the evening.
At this point something has to be said about the quality of the sound, which is crystal clear all night long. As the saying goes ‘Don’t piss off the sound guy’. He or she or they did an excellent job last night.
Ryan makes a comment early on I think along the lines of wishing he had some cough sweets to offer to a section of the audience, but really the crowd were attentive and restrained for pretty much the entire gig, from where I was sitting.
Ryan’s chat is very limited all night meaning that the songs flow quickly on the heels of each other. ‘ Ashes and Fire’ and ‘Heartbreaker’ are the touchstones for the night’s set, although other songs stand out too, including ’The End’ which is preceded by a comment about the song’s inspiration. The song for me then takes on a whole new light and is delivered with fire.
A slow paced piano rendition of ‘Rescue Blues’ is superb, Whiskeytown’s ‘Sixteen Days’ and ‘English Girls Approximately’ all stand out, but to be honest so does the entire set.
Encore is Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’ and then it’s lights up. As we leave the hall to Whitney Houston blasting out of the speakers there is many a beaming face among the punters.
Ryan Adams itunes session
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