I left Oakland around 5 and glad I did. It took me almost 3 hours to get to Santa Cruz. That Gasoline Tanker Accident sure messed up the bay area road ways, not to mention the moisture…
This review may not be quite as descriptive as my last 2, but I’ll be honest with you, I ‘m lost for words right now and out of ways to describe what I’ve experienced these last few shows. Man it’s been awhile since I can’t show out of my head…not to mention 3 most amazing, yet very different evenings. Regardless of the fact that I heard some repeats, I miss the way an artist can make such subtle yet so diverse changes to something in the mix that it sounds similar but altered and fresh at the same time…Don’t get me started.
Maybe it’s the deranged, dysfunctional, disturbed, and obsessive compulsive side of me that connects so much with Ryan’s material. Yes, I am a bit biased, but I will still always try to be truthful and real. I like what Stephen King has to say about Ryan, “I’m not saying Ryan Adams is the best song writer in America, but I’m also not saying that he isn’t”.
It could have been a free show as people were handing out freebies at the door. Once inside I was a little scared with the small attendance, but took advantage for the first few songs to get my groove on up close. I decided to back off and grab a cold one, slammed it and made my way right under the disco ball. Always a good spot at the Catalyst. The sound was as to be expected from the place. A bit boomy and the bass always stands out, but you gotta love the leaks from the ceiling. Stage set up was missing the piano, and the back drop was also gone from this performance. I heard someone complaining about it, but they would have had to fold the thing in half to hang it in that venue!!!
The show actually began one minute early, yes, 7:59 PM, with another sweet rendition of Peaceful Valley > Beautiful Sorta.
I like Peaceful Valley as an opener…get things charged up from the start.
Shakedown on 9th St. followed, then Bartering Lines.
One More Kiss Before I Go was next, then Cold Roses.
It was then Neal’s turn with Freeway to the Canyon. The first Wildflowers of the three shows was after that. Ryan sang the song with a cigarette in his mouth and I was cracking up on still how good his voice was. A cough last night, holding a smoke in his mouth tonight, fighting a cold and still the music didn’t suffer.
Ah, and yet another F*@&ing mind blowing Mockingbird. Off Broadway closed the somewhat short first set with Ryan telling the crowd they looked good tonight.
Second Set started with Why Do They Leave. Next, Everybody Knows. Another smokin’ Monsters, then another first of the week, The End. Do Not Let Me Go made it’s way into the set list as well. Then it was Goodnight Rose.
I didn’t have my better half with me this evening to keep me in check, Sammie’s ankle had swollen up pretty good with all these shows, and a stand up venue like the Catalyst was out of the question for her. (She thanks everyone for sending her posative vibes and healing messages on Sat.) So there I was, all alone to let the cheese fly…yes, it slipped from my tongue, but I had been thinking for almost a week and I really don’t feel like the Band is appreciated as much as they should be by the crowd. So I let it Fly!!!
“Cardinals, you guys are so TIGHT!!!” I can’t believe I’m really going to post this, but what I love so much about my life…I really don’t give a rats ass what people think of me, especially a bunch of Hipster Ryan Fans.
After my spillage, a woman requested a song and I loved Ryan’s explanation…It went something like…It’s like you want Meatloaf for dinner, yet your Mom slaved all day to make this special casserole. And at the dinner table you sit down and say…I want Meatloaf!!! Well this show is like meatloaf. He also explained that tonight should have been a rest night, but he made a special point of coming back to Santa Cruz because it was where the Cardinals first played electric last tour. (It was super Hot, I Highly recommend listening to it if you haven’t already)
So it was Easy Plateau that ended the Set.
House lights went up…but with some foot stomping, the Band retuned for the Encore.
Now here is a little something interesting about the evening, Magnolia Mountain was probably the sloppiest song of the 3 shows, with missed lyrics and the band just not really getting there, but the transition into Blue Hotel with Ryan belting out, “I’d like to say that I tried”…had me thinking for a second and made the slip seem like nothing, that it was all planed. I doubt it, but just like the cough last night…Wow
Now folks, if you don’t know Blue Hotel, it was written especially for Willie Nelson and was on the album Songbird which Ryan produced and had an older version of the Cardinals as the backing band. Again, if you haven’t heard it before, you really outta hear Willie’s version of Stella Blue. As Sammie describes it, “Sounds like Angels”.
I don’t want to compare any of the shows, and I really can’t. Each one was special, and did something to me. But I am a Fan…
Well, it was a shorter show, but I do need to get to sleep before 3 AM for the first night since last Thurs. Hope some of you were there this evening, and regardless, I sure hope your Tuesday evening was as special as mine. Can’t wait for Ryan to return!!!
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA
Peaceful Valley >
Shakedown On 9th St.
One More Kiss Before I Go
Freeway To The Canyon
Why Do They Leave
I Still See Monsters
Do Not Let Me Go
Magnolia Mountain >
Great review. Very accurate and I'm glad someone knows a whole lot more than me....but that would be a lot of pople then...
Anywho, had a great time with Spearman in tow. I was so freakin' glad it was an 8pm show and no opener. These old bones appreciate that so much. Peaceful Valley is one of my favs, so as an opener, I was stoked. Right into Beautiful Sorta. Nice. Rest of first set was v.good also.
Only 15 minute break. Good lord to be young. Second set also v. good, with a GREAT I SEE MONSTERS. Ripped it up. Easy Plateau is another fav and they killed this one too. One song of each set they tried to SPACE OUT a little and this was the one for set two. Ryan went so wacky detuning his strat that he couldn't get it back in tune for a vocal reprise and the song petered out. Too funny.
I think cocktails were involved towards the end of set two, and the Magnolia Mountain encore was a bit off.
All in all, I have been looking forward to this for a while. Spearman said, "Seems like this is a band where every night is different. Also, I havevn't seen anything like that kind of music in a long time". HMMM.
>> Also, I havevn't seen anything like that kind of music in a long time"
That's what I'm sayin...Can't belive there is so many haters. This stuff is amazing.
The dude single handedly tried to fuck up my b-day show, 12/29/05, and I STILL really like the music. Jeez, some of the current stuff on archive.org is the shit. I can't stop singing:
1. Peaceful Valley
2. Easy Plateau
3. Cold Roses
4. What Sin, yikes
5. Rescue Blues
To name just a few. Now, I'm truly "just another picky dead head", but I get this.
Thank you Phil for Ryan and Larry. I may have missed these two without you helping to point them out.
and kindly this show got posted on the ol' Archive...
Have a listen for yourself...