Show review from LA Greek Theater:
Wasn't planning on going to the show having seen the tours the past couple years and not particularly enjoying Prisoner that much, but after a friend txted who had seen the show in Berkeley the night before I decided to grab tixs.
Greek LA is always a nice place to catch a show in the summer so I made it up there about 10 mins before RA went on, grabbed a beer and settled in. Overall the show was average, maybe a C+/B- if I had to grade. Biggest plus is Ryan is way more engaged these days, it really feels like hes enjoying every moment of the show, and puts a lot into each song, even songs that are over 10 years old and he's played 100s of times. That really elevates the show especially since in years past this attitude was not always there. Biggest minus is probably the backing band, the guys are talented but they really don't have the salt or emotion that previous bands have had. I know he had to replace the drummer 2 weeks before the tour and I get that these guys didn't help write/record most of these songs but it feels like they are a cover band, very little style or emotion put into the performance.
Nice opening flow of Early Solo/Cardinals tunes Let it ride/TBY/MagMtn. Mag had some nice solo guitar jam stuff, let it ride is such a beautiful track, great opener.
2/GSG/DirtyRain/FixIt/Prisoner/Outbnd next flow, two is a solid post card track, very pretty to hear live, dirty rain was well done, fix it is fun as with time I find cardinalogy tracks become more endearing. Prisoner was very nice, solo acoustic into full band, great moment, actually pretty tight moment of the show. He also reprimanded someone for iphone filming around this time.
A rocking Shakedown on 9th is always nice, Do youLoveMe/Stay....i got up to get another beer but theres something so classic about the song "Stay" like RA covering RA, its so cliche ryan adams. I like it.
When the Stars Go Blue always a nice surprise to see in a set list. well done. AshesFire/Peaceful Valley/Dear John Ok so wow, great 3 song flow and to end with Dear John, wow, love that tune, very well done great emotion, mood, tempo, its a song that really has a certain slow flow and they did a good job with it. That was probably the only song I had never heard live in the set....which leads me to my second big let down with recent RA shows (last 5 years) The setlists have been extremely repetitive and unimagined. For a guy with over 15 albums of material he really only pulls from 30-40 songs. I still don't understand people who go crazy for Come Pick Me Up or Oh My Sweet Carolina, I mean haven't you heard these songs like 20 times already? and he plays them the same every time! The only classic tunes that get re invented are Wonderwall & I See Monsters. So to hear Dear John was extremely pleasant surprise.
Doomsday/BandIntros>Fuck the Shirt improv about drummers shirt/EverybodyKnow/InvRvrsd/Wonderwall/NYNY/ComePickMeUp
Solid end to the show, all good tracks, Wonderwall very pretty solo, NYNY always nice and again, Come Pick Me Up heard it so many times live it has almost lost meaning, would rather hear some other track that gets no love live, so many good songs but very few see the light of day.
Overall glad I went cause I love the tunes. RA is very positive and having fun with the shows which makes it nice to attend. I know hes battling his illness so his presence touring the last few years has been appreciated, especially in LA. I hope you don't mind the post but I went alone cause I have no friends who dig RA and most ppl sitting by me went wild for any Self Titled/Ashes/prisoner track so I didn't think they'd appreciate my reflections....Have fun at any future shows.