May 4, 2017

Ryan Adams played the Beacon Theatre

Ryan Adams is on tour behind his latest full-length record, Prisoner. After stopping by Rough Trade this past winter to promote the new album, he dropped in on the famed Beacon Theatre for an absolutely breathtaking performance.

Despite hailing from North Carolina, Ryan Adams claims New York City as his spiritual home and it's clear that people here feel the same way. On his second consecutive night of sold-out shows at the iconic Beacon Theatre, Adams treated the crowd to a captivating and career spanning set. "I put so many songs on the set list that I don't really have time to talk" he announced about halfway through the show, and while Ryan can certainly entertain his audience with his witty banter, I doubt anyone minded the numerous favorites that were sprinkled throughout the evening. It's clear now that his record release show at Rough Trade earlier this year was in fact just that, a celebration of his really good new record. The nights at the Beacon, however, were for the fans that have waited for so long to hear tracks that have been emblazoned in their minds stretching back almost two decades. Pulling out "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)" for the second song of the night was an indicator that this was bound to be something special, but as the night progressed it became more and more clear that he was ready to pull out all the bells and whistles for a truly remarkable show. He's never possessed the downtown chic vibes of the Strokes, but his effortless cool still ripples in full effect and watching him arch his back while bursting into supreme guitar solos while his whiskey soaked wail carried rang out into the theatre was a mesmerizing sight to behold. He's alt-country rock and roll personified and not once did he let anyone think otherwise. Even with his illustrious chops and striking essence, the venue only heightened the experience. The sound was so sharp and crisp that even in a large setting, the performance felt intimate. It really felt like a night of magic. One that lifted spirits, ignited passion, and left a sense of resounding joy in the air. A solo acoustic rendition of "My Winding Wheel" felt life affirming, like an awakening. "Magnolia Mountain" turned into an epic jam session. "When the Stars Go Blue" was resilient and peaceful, somehow conjuring up even more spiritual bliss than the night had already produced. His long sought for and humbling cover "Wonderwall" was sensational and profound. Still, ending the set with "New York, New York" was cathartic beyond belief, inspiring and nostalgic, and a heartfelt tribute that really encapsulated the feeling and energy that resonated throughout the building. The encore of "Come Pick Me Up" was rather transcendent and saw the crowd rise to their feet for one last moment as this rock savior rose to the occasion and delivered everything the fans could have asked for and more. It was honest, pure, and exemplified everything that music can do to sooth the soul.

Set list:

01 "Do You Still Love Me?"
02 "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)"
03 "Gimme Something Good"
04 "Two"
05 "Dirty Rain"
06 "Outbound Train"
07 "Everybody Knows"
08 "English Girls Approximately"
09 "Prisoner"
10 "Wonderwall" [Oasis cover]
11 "Doomsday"
12 "When the Stars Go Blue"
13 "Let It Ride"
14 "Are You Home?"
15 "My Winding Wheel"
16 "Sweet Illusions"
17 "Magnolia Mountain"
18 "To Be Without You"
19 "Kim"
20 "Cold Roses"
21 "Shakedown on 9th Street"
22 "New York, New York"
23 "Come Pick Me Up"

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