Friday, April 20, 2012

Ryan Adams live at the Olympia Theatre , Dublin 19/04/12 Review

It would be my fifth time to witness Ryan live and tonight already was shaping up to be a great gig as it must have been the best venue of the five. The Victorian Music Hall that is the Olympia oozed history as you walked in, The walls covered in images of past greats to adorn the stage everyone from Johnny cash to Radiohead. Inside the large stage was surrounded by ornate balconies and a fully seated venue. Ryan obviously seems to like the venue too as it is his fifth time to play the Olympia.
Inside we found ourselves in the ground floor bar called Maureens, Once again this bar was wall to wall pictures of acts that have played the venue down through the years. Most of the pictures featured the bars oldest employee Maureen, 64 years on and Maureen is still helping out in the bar. Had a nice chat with her as she stung us for a few euro for charity for a local hospital, a nice lady with some great stories. Over the intercom we were ushered to our seats, the support act was about to commence.

I am always very interested and excited to find out who Ryan has made his support for the gigs as you often see some great names for his American tours, of the four previous times I have seen him live he has only provided one support in the shape of Jessie Malin for the Glasgow gig I saw last year. All the others were with the Cardinals and there wasn't a need for a support. Tonight saw the honours fall to Alasdair Roberts , Unfortunately after the first few seconds of the performance I had wished I stayed in Maureens bar. I don't like to slate any act but I really didn't see what Ryan saw in this guy, Poorly constructed songs and even worse vocals made for a chatty/bad atmosphere around the venue. The Scottish folk ballad singer didn't fit the bill here at all, its rare your looking forward to the end of a song.

Well that's not what we came for tonight and what we did come for just walked out on stage and blasted straight into a 18 strong set of greatness. He was clearly on form tonight with witty remarks throughout the show on the first night of his European tour 2012. He interrupted the start of one song due to some loud audience members chatting about their day, Ryan said he was trying to let his body do the song while he tried to interpret the Irish accent and find out what the hell they were talking about but to him it just sounded like bees buzzing. His latest and thirteenth album Ashes and Fire featured heavily in the set and a great sprinkling of his superb back catalogue, the set also included "16 Days" from previous band 'Whiskeytown' which he referred to as the 'Space Maggots'.
He deviated from the piano on the left of the stage to chair on front and standing to the right of the stage throughout the night, The sound might have been a little too low at times as they were really going for that intimate acoustic feel.
He misheard a song request for La Cienega Just Smiled at one stage, instead hearing Reba McEntire still smiling. He then went on to hilariously lambaste the American County Music Awards to which Reba had just hosted. This became a running joke for the night with tales of red necks singing about Jesus and their favourite pick up truck while wearing chaps, He was in flying form!

I Really enjoyed hearing some of Ashes and Fire live, it really is a superb addition to his back catalogue ,and certainly my top record of 2011. Managed to pick up a nice vinyl version of it at the gig too. Apologies for no pictures or video but like the last tour Ryan is on a strict no camera rule, with which I respect. I'm sure some will surface and I will post here if I can.
For one of the piano numbers Ryan played a lament for his cat referred to as Mr.Cat , the extremely funny thought out number had tales of the cat getting up to mischief with his not so intelligent cat brother. How he looks like a tiger when stoned and reads high brow literature when Ryan is out. All this before playing a beautiful slow rendition of New York, New York.
He thanked the crowd and said he loves playing Ireland and exited the stage and then returned minutes later joking that he was just back to pick up his amps and leave, Ryan then played a cover of 80s heavy metal outfit DIO's 'Holy Diver' putting his excellent stamp on it. He then left to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Yet again another great Ryan Adams gig and was delighted he was in such good form, Well worth the trip from limerick even when you make it home at all hours in the am.
01 Sweet Carolina
02 Ashes and Fire
03 If I am a Stranger
04 Dirty Rain
05 My Winding Wheel
06 Rescue Blues
07 Please do not let me go false start
08 Please Do Not Let Me Go
09 Banter & Tuning
10 Do I wait
11 Send in the next audience
12 Firecracker
13 Everybody knows
14 Sweet Lil Gal
15 More Banter & Tuning - this place really is haunted
16 Let it Ride
17 Reba McEntire and the CMAs
18 English Girls Approximately
19 My career is fucked - cowboy hats over Tennessee
20 Chains of Love
21 More Banter & Tuning - intro to 16 Days
22 16 Days
23 Mr Cat
24 New York New York
25 Drink more orange juice - Metallgher
26 Lucky Now
27 Goodnight
28 Come pick Me Up
29 Encore Break
30 Holy Diver - Dio Cover


Eoghaner said...

I think there was an American in the front row who said something like "Reba, North Carolina misses you"and that's when he started the Country music shtick.
Nice little review-made me glad I didn't show up for Alisdair Roberts.

Anonymous said...

Saw the tour in Gateshead last night. The audience listened attentively to Alasdair Roberts who is a songwriter of substantial depth and a wonderful interpreter of trad songs.
I have seen him a number of times supporting some very prestigious performers. Clearly they see something you don't.

Anonymous said...

Yea it was Greenville, North Carolina misses you. He lived there for a bit.

IndieLimerick said...

Lads ye are dead right, he said someplace in North Carolina misses you, Reading back on it now I missed a few classic quotes including that he loves Ireland and if he eats anymore Black Pudding he will have a heart attack :)

RE. Alasdair Roberts, im sure he floats your boat and many others but not even a ripple for me.

IndieLimerick said...

Set list corrected, Also the gig is up on :)

The Plath Diaries said...

It's taken me a while to be able to comment on this review because it's really only now that I'm "over" my woeful Olympia experience. I wish I could agree with you on enjoyment levels because I know it was a good set and that Ryan was in great form (especially liked how he remembered that he said we were a snuffly crowd last time around).. but as you know, the crowd utterly ruined it for me. Who sings along in a pin-droppingly quiet show?! I just do not know.

I saw him in Belfast the next night and he was great. My only major criticisms are that he pretty much kept the same set list throughout the whole tour which is a little uninventive knowing that RA could do 30 different songs every night and it wouldn't be a bother to him.

- Alastair Roberts was terrible! I totally agree!

Anonymous said...

He started the haunted place thing after I shouted "mockingbirds" I think ahahah a request he obviously ignored!!!