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Ryan Adams

Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer/songwriter with the cocky brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists to emerge from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre, leaping from one spot to another stylistically while following his increasingly prolific muse. Adams was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina in 1974. While country music was a major part of his family's musical diet… Show more

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Jan 24, 2008 - barbaraininmarin
Ryan in San Rafael Jan 23

During the beginning of the show I felt as though I was witnessing an artist at the top of his game. The band was incredibly tight, the delivery was crisp, and the craftmanship of his songwriting came through brilliantly. A couple of things were to note : he has 'mood lighting' aka: there are no lights to highlight the performers other than some muted soft ambient lights and 'rotating' circles that at times caught his face and moved away. At first it was strange, but I accepted it as part of the "artistry" and how he chose to deliver his music. It was, however, lost on some of the paying crowd, who shouted out 'show your face'...from there it was as if Ryan was perturbed that the marin crowd wouldn't be 'enlightened' enough to know this was by design, and he began to state as much, encouraging the yeller to go see Coldplay if the wanted lighting. Ryan then whipped into a rousing number, at the end of which he apologized for the outburst, and that he in fact thought highly of coldplay...I got the sense he didn't feel the same about the marin crowd as they continued to banter him for a particular song or convey how much they loved him, he seemed to want nothing of it and instead went on to discuss with the audience his troubled digestive system, his apparent bad choice off the dinner menu, and apologized to those in the front row as he "blasted a hole in the bench seat" of the piano. I thought we in the audience deserved it... He played for 2 full hours and didn't cover some of his most well known numbers, he stormed between soft hearfelt love tear jerkers to string-bending, mind-numbing dissonance that reeked of jimmy hendrix meets metallica. I personally enjoyed the ride, and thought the crowd was simply too perplexed (or too complex) to know what to do with the message...people were simply quiet on the way out the door. I'd see him again and am a bigger advocate after seeing him live, I just wish people in these audiences that feel the need to yell crap out at performers in the hopes of a close personal connection would stay in thier cars and sing along to the CD...it is disruptive, especially to someone such as ryan adams, who can present a story with such a gentle vulnerabilty. No he didn't play "It takes two" probably because he was sick of us..but to have some fucker shout "Your So Hot" or "Play BlahBlahBlah" deserves to have ryan 'blast' them from the stage with whatever he has, especially after some bad pork.

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