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Arts and Entertainment

Ryan Adams and The Cardinals @ Wilshire Theater 7/19

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Last night, alt-country hero Ryan Adams and his backing band, The Cardinals, played his only Los Angeles show on his tour for his 9th album, Easy Tiger, at the Wilshire Theater to a sold out audience.

Adams is known for his lengthy sets and last night was no exception, playing for over two hours both old and new songs (mostly new) - all very well done. The Cardinals, his favorite back up band and his “best friends in the whole world” as he referred to them in between songs, were on point with sharp and intricate guitar melodies and light back up vocals. These guys are pros, having backed up the likes of Willie Nelson their playing was impeccable and complicated all at once. The acoustics in the Wilshire Theater are good, which made me forget about the long line at the bar and the absence of any type of beer besides for Guinness after 9:45pm.

Highlights off Easy Tiger, included the popular “Two”, “Goodnight Rose”, and “Off Broadway”. Other high points of the show were “Goodnight Hollywood Blvd.” and “Elizabeth You Were Born to Play”. The second song in the set was “Blue Sky Blues”, a personal favorite that was as haunting as it was beautiful, I mean the guy’s voice is just so pretty- even if some think his attitude isn’t. Adams is known for being a moody and brooding artist type, but last night he was on his best behavior, adding witty banter between songs, thanking the audience and poking fun at himself. Best quote of the night? “The Prozac factory is where I wrote all these new songs.” Maybe Adam’s is referring to the fact that this is his first “sober” album having admitted to “an extended period of substance abuse” that ended in 2006. I also love his Bobby Kennedyesque hair smooth over, and his seemingly arbitrary decisions of what songs required him to wear sunglasses, but that’s just me.

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It’s rumored that the prolific Adams has albums worth of yet to be released material. His record company Lost Highway has recently announced plans to release a box set of live tracks later this year from Bedhead, The Suicide Handbook, and 48 Hours as well as the Easy Tiger Sessions later this year.

Photo by Stillframe via Flickr of a previous show