Ryan Adams Week: Day 1

posted by Richard Gill

Up until Ashes & Fire Ryan Adams has had a pretty open policy about fans recording his shows, even allowing them to patch into the soundboard most of the time. This has given way to a mountain of bootlegs that range (both in quality and performance) from pretty awful to mind blowingly awesome. In anticipation of his upcoming performance at the State Theatre on Dec. 13 I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite bootlegged shows. Bear in mind that these aren’t necessarily the best shows just a small sampling of some of the more memorable shows.

Note: All shows are freely available on archive.org unless otherwise noted.

Band: Ryan Adams & The Sweetheart Revolution
Date: 12.05.2001
City/Venue: Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue

I thought it would be appropriate to start with the very first Ryan Adams show I ever went to. This was also the first time Ryan played First Ave. and seemed genuinely excited about it. The next time he played First Ave. was the scene of his legendary meltdown on stage that seemed to turn a lot of people off him for a while but thankfully, this show was the exact opposite. To be honest, I don’t really remember a whole lot about this night due to excessive alcohol consumption both during the show and in the years since which has rendered my memory pretty much useless. I’ve also never actually listened to this particular bootleg due to the fact that this is one show that I’d prefer to remember how I remember it happening which may or may not be how it actually was. That being said, there were a few moments that definitely still stick out in my brain.

Here they are (in no particular order)

– The incredibly ballsy move of opening with the single “New York, New York”. Keep in mind this was only a few months after 9/11 and that song was everywhere. It’s a testament to both the confidence of Ryan and the deepness of his catalog for him to know that even though a decent chunk of that crowd only knew him from that song he could keep their attention for the next 2 hours and change.

– Ryan announcing that Lost Highway had just signed Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and The Jayhawks. He seemed especially excited about the Jayhawks signing.

– It was so packed that after getting a few beers from the bar I followed an attractive girl through the crowd since people were more apt to move out of her way than mine at which time I overheard some guy say, “How does a guy like that get a hot girl like that.” I thought that was pretty funny.

– At one point Ryan pulled out his wallet and bought a case of beer for the people in the front so they didn’t have to battle the crowd to get to the bar.

– My favorite memory of the entire night was hearing the whole room sing along to “Come Pick Me Up” and “Rocket Man”. It was a goose bump inducing moment that I’ve never experienced again at a live show.

1. New York, New York
2. To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
3. The Rescue Blues
4. Touch, Feel & Lose
5. I Don’t Wanna Work
6. Nobody Girl
7. When The Stars Go Blue
8. When The Stars Go Blue
9. Tina Toledo’s Street Walkin’ Blues
10. Bob Dylan (improv)
11. Sin City (The Flying Burrito Brothers)
12. Lovesick Blues (Hank Williams)
13. Harder Now That It’s Over
14. Brown Sugar (The Rolling Stones)
15. Somehow, Someday
16. La Cienega Just Smiled
17. Firecracker

Acoustic Encore
18. My Winding Wheel
19. Don’t Ask For The Water

Band Encore
20. Honey, I’m Just Trying To Take You Home
21. Slave (The Rolling Stones)
22. Come On Little Girl
23. Lord, Tell Me How It’s Gonna Be
24. Come Pick Me Up
25. Rocket Man (Elton John)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at 1:11 pm