Ryan Adams Week: Day 3

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 Solo / Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Date: 09.18.2006
City/Venue: London, ENG – Bush Hall

This is an interesting show for a couple different reasons. First of all, it starts out with just Ryan playing solo before being joined by the rest of The Cardinals minus drummer Brad Pemberton (according to Ryan he missed the show because he was buying lasers) for the last 6 tunes. Secondly, it seems Ryan took this opportunity to bust out a number of tunes that had yet to be released including a handful that are still not officially available plus one, “Funny Face”, that has only ever been played at that show.

This show took place shortly after Ryan got sober so there is a lucidity to the performance that is missing from earlier shows and gives the songs a bit more depth. Not to say that drunken Ryan couldn’t deliver the goods as well but personally I prefer sober Ryan. I think he comes across as much more genuine and funny in these later performances.

The standout tracks on this are definitely the ones that have yet to be released. “Don’t Get Sentimental On Me”, a song he recorded during a session for the movie Elizabethtown, is to this day my favorite of his unreleased song, “Arkham Asylum” is a murder story wrapped in Batman mythology and the haunting “Everything Dies” is performed with such heartbreaking conviction that it’s no surprise it was retired from the set a week later.

If you have the time I suggest downloading all 11 shows from this UK run since they are all fantastic.


01 Don’t Get Sentimental On Me
02 Oh My God Whatever Etc.
03 Lighthouses
04 Two
05 Everything Dies
06 Funny Face
07 Rip Off
08 Elizabeth You Were Born To Play That Part
09 Strawberry Wine
10 Sweet Lil Gal
11 My Winding Wheel
12 Tears Of Gold
13 Goodnight Rose
14 Arkham Asylum
15 Blue Hotel
16 A Kiss Before I Go
17 Cold Roses

Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 2:22 pm