Ryan Adams and the Cardinals @ Charlottesville Pavillion
Over this past weekend I headed down to Virginia to see Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. I had planned to take a bunch of photos on this trip but unfortunately my camera was malfunctioning. So I don't really have any photos but I can tell you a lot about this show. The show began with a 40 minute set by Neal Casal. I have really been enjoying Neal's solo work every since I discovered him when he took over playing guitar in the Cardinals. His set which featured Ryan on drums for 3 songs was great. He has an amazing voice and is a great guitar player.
After about a 30 minutes Ryan and the Cardinals took the stage. I had a lot of expectations for this show after how good his performance at the Bowery Ballroom had been a few weeks earlier. I knew immediately we were in for a great show when the opening notes of Magnolia Mountain rang out. This version was great and got me into the show right away. Next up were two more favorites of mine Let it Ride, and Easy Plateau. At this point I was starting to think how could this show get any better and then it did. Ryan and the band go into a great version of Wharf Rat. I love the way Ryan sings Dead songs and this just sounded great. After wharf Rat I was ready for a break in the awesomeness but I didn't get it. Instead the band rolls into Peacefully Valley. This song just flat out rages. But what happened next was what really began to melt my face. They launch into Beautiful Sorta but quickly steer the song into Bird Song and then back into Beautiful Sorta. Yes it was a great as it sounds. Next up was Trains which sounded great and segued nicely into Dear Chicago.
After a few more songs and few more B-Weisers I rush to the bathroom at the end of Cold Roses. On my way back to my seat the drum beat to Shakedown on 9th Street kicks and my pace changes from a hurried walk to a full speed sprint. Once back in to my seat I am rocking in overdrive and the song stirs the whole crowd into a frenzy. Just as I thought this show had reached it's highest point Ryan totally goes and blows my mind as Shakedown fades in Franklin's Tower. Are you fucking kidding me? I thought I had heard him sound checking it but I didn't believe my ears. Ryan and Neal share the vocals on Franklin's and it is sounding to good for my mind. The band smoothly transitions from a dark jam at the end of Franklin's into I See Monster's. There was a lot more great music played after this point including Ryan's take on the Gram Parson song Street's of Baltimore and a great slow then fast version of To be Young. But I am going to stop now and just say go see Ryan Adams on this tour. He is playing better than he ever has.