Last night I went to the Ryan Adams concert at the Lyric in Baltimore. It was a fantastic show that lived up to my every expectation. It was an entirely acoustic set, which really contributed to how much I loved it. It was just Ryan with 2 acoustic guitars, his harmonica, and a piano up on stage. It’s a rare treat to experience just a musician and his music. Most concerts are filled with bands, back-up singers, and stage theatrics, but I would much prefer this any day. I thought this concert was a thousand times better than the huge spectacle of a U2 concert I saw over the summer.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find out how funny Ryan Adams is. I had either rightly or wrongly had a vision of him as a stand-offish musician who would take the stage and play without bothering to interact with the audience. That was not the case at all. The Lyric is fairly small venue, so it engenders engaging with the audience and he certainly did. I laughed a lot during the show, which I was not in any way expecting.
The acoustic nature of the show really lent itself to Adams playing the music of his that I favor, so that was an extra added bonus. I’m sorry I don’t have a set list to provide you. He did, not surprisingly, play a number of songs of his new album, Ashes and Fire. It just reinforced how much I love that album. Every time he would play a song from it I would think oh yeah he’s playing that it’s my favorite song from Ashes and Fire and then he would play another one and I would oh wait no this is my favorite.
He played for closed to 2.5 hours, so there was obviously a bunch of music from his prolific back catalog as well. I could be wrong, but it didn’t seem like he was playing from a set list. He obviously knew some of the songs he planned on playing, but at other times he seemed to be just flipping through the song book he had on stage to decide what to play. Going in I was hoping to hear him play two songs, Desire and Come Pick Me Up. I apparently was not alone in hoping to hear Desire as during the breaks when he was looking for songs, aside from the idiots yelling Freebird, Desire was the one song that many people were requesting. When he put back on his harmonica to play what he told us would be his final song I was convinced he was going to play it. Sadly I was wrong, but also happily I was wrong since the song he did close out the show with was Come Pick Me Up. I wish he had played both, but am also glad that he played at least one of them.
In which case I will leave you now with a link to Desire since it’s my favorite. You’ve got to love a man who can make a harmonica sound so hauntingly beautiful.