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Ryan Adams Played Truly Epic Shows In NYC And Philly

Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams at the Beacon Theatre in New York

Since his triumphant return to the stage during his concert at the Carnegie Hall (covered by Iman here), Ryan Adams has played a few more shows on the East Coast, one in Philadelphia (on Tuesday) and another one at the Beacon Theater in New York (on Wednesday). He will also hit Boston on the 20th and New Jersey on the 21st before finally playing Los Angeles in July…

The setlists of these last concerts have been ridiculous… I mean ridiculously long: 31 songs at the Carnegie Hall, 32 songs in Philadelphia, and 34 at the Beacon Theater. You cannot call these shows anything but epic!

Ryan is playing very long sets solo, with no band to back him up, Needless to say, very few artists are able to play 3-hour shows with no other support than a guitar, a piano, and the sound of their voice.

Since his true fans were very excited at the idea to see him back on stage, he could have just got away with a regular set of 18-20 songs, a one-hour-and-a-half show, and everyone would have been very happy. However, these setlists are out of the ordinary: they are extremely and they are completely different each time. He picks songs all over his extensive catalog, and included some Cardinals songs, some Whiskeytown songs, plus some covers; so far, he has covered a Black Sabbath song and a Springsteen song. There are even some live debuts: “Karina,” “Spinning Wheel,” “Crooked Shake,” “Dive,” and “At Home with the Animals”. Who knows, he may debut some cuts from “Romeo & Juliet,” next timeHe goes deep in his catalog, browsing the years from his 2000 debut “Heartbreaker,” and his 2001 critically acclaimed “Gold”, to his very recent releases, “Wednesdays” (2020), and “Chris” (2022), plus everything in between. He hasn’t played in front of a live audience for several years (three years if you don’t count his Instagram live sessions) and he is also playing songs he has never played… ever. According to all reports, he sounded very good, was telling stories, and did engage with the crowd in the best way possible. People have described him as “hilarious, humble, and confident.”

Ryan Adams is accomplishing two things here: First, he is spoiling his fans and showing them how much he cares; he is putting all his heart into these setlists. Then, he demonstrates what kind of artist he is: I haven’t seen many artists able to play shows this long with completely different setlists each time; even Paul McCartney, who is also currently touring and playing very long shows, is far from creating such diverse setlists. If Ryan Adams had still anything to prove, he just did it. However, Rocknyc is still the only website mentioning him and reviewing his shows. There was not one mention in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, Stereogum… Ryan Adams is currently playing the best shows of his career and he is completely ignored by mainstream media. Honestly, I don’t expect anything from them anymore, a stupid hashtag has swamped them without any possible return or vision for redemption. This is their loss; true fans know where to find a perfect night of music and Ryan Adams.

Carnegie Hall setlist
Oh My Sweet Carolina
Dirty Rain
Everybody Knows
Ashes & Fire
Two (Ryan on piano; was originally supposed to be on guitar, but the guitar had to be handed off to a tec)
When the Stars Go Blue
To Be Without You
Invisible Riverside
Answering Bell
Dear Chicago
Outbound Train
New York, New York
La Cienega Just Smiled
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
My Winding Wheel
16 Days (Whiskeytown song)
Houses on the Hill (Whiskeytown song)
Dreaming You Backwards (Ryan on piano)
Sweet Illusions (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
My Wrecking Ball
I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say
Lucky Now
Romeo & Juliet
Do I Wait
Let It Ride (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
Come Pick Me Up
The Wizard (Black Sabbath song)

Beacon Theater setlist
New York, New York
Crossed Out Name (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
Hard Way to Fall (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
Harder Now That It’s Over
Why Do They Leave?
Withering Heights (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
The Rescue Blues (on piano)
English Girls Approximately
Jacksonville Skyline (Whiskeytown song)
Please Do Not Let Me Go
Karina (Unreleased from 48 Hours. First time ever.)
Dancing with the Women at the Bar (Whiskeytown song)
Now That You’re Gone (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
Call Me on Your Way Back Home
Cannonball Days
My Blue Manhattan (on piano)
This House Is Not for Sale
Afraid Not Scared
Strawberry Wine
Dear John (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
Romeo & Juliet
Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.
If I Am a Stranger (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
In My Time of Need
Wild Flowers
Chin Up, Cheer Up
Miss Sunflower
September (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
Sylvia Plath (on piano)
I See Monsters
It’s Not That Kind of Night
When the Stars Go Blue
Do I Wait
Come Pick Me Up

Academia of Music (Philadelphia) Setlist
Oh My Sweet Carolina
Save Me
To Be Without You
Romeo & Juliet
You Will Always Be the Same
The End (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
How Do You Keep Love Alive (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
My Wrecking Ball
Outbound Train (Before Outbound, DRA says each set has a theme. Next part will be songs be wrote in Phyladelphia.)
Who Is Going to Love Me Now, If Not You (Live debut)
Blue Hotel (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals song)
Walk in the Dark
When You Cross Over
Poison & Pain
So, Anyways
Spinning Wheel (Live debut)
Moving Target
Dreaming You Backwards (Ryan on piano)
Nobody Girl
Carolina Rain
Damn, Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains)
Was I Wrong
Do I Wait
Crooked Shake (Live debut)
Dive (Live debut)
Streets of Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen cover)
At Home with the Animals
(Live debut)

1 Comment

  1. Steve on May 24, 2022 at 4:47 am

    Alyson, I enjoyed your review and appreciated your comments on the current state of the MSM. We need more journalists like you.

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