Ryan Adams at the Cedar Cultural Center

On Monday night, the last night of my vacation in Minneapolis, I had the fortune of seeing Ryan Adams at the Cedar Cultural Center. It was a rare and worthwhile opportunity to hear Ryan and his backing band The Cardinals play in an intimate setting.

The venue has a total seating capacity of 465, a fraction of the size typical for a Ryan Adams concert. The show was announced very suddenly; tickets went on sale less than three weeks before the scheduled date. Fortunately, Charlie was able to snag seats in the front row before TicketWeb melted under the demand.

Adams, known for his erratic emotions, sang lovely sad songs while hiding in the dim light and wearing sunglasses. In his demands to keep the lighting low, he repeated “I’m so nervous” and “I feel like I’m on stage.” “I promise you I’m still here,” he joked from behind the darkness.

But the show was small, and he was surrounded by some of his most devoted fans. The appreciation seemed to flow from both sides, as Adams delivered a heartfelt performance. He left the instruments solely to the band, while focusing strictly on vocals. The quality of his voice was as good as I’ve ever heard it.

Many of the songs he played were from his forthcoming album, Easy Tiger. Initial buzz on the release indicates that it is his best work in years. If it meets the standard set on Monday, it may very well be. I know I am eagerly waiting to give it quite a few spins.

As the Star Tribune noted in their review of the show:

The buzz on Ryan Adams’ newest album is that it’s his most sophisticated and serious work to date, but that didn’t lessen the surprise over how much those same qualities applied to his concert Monday night at Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.

I snapped photographs at the show, in addition to recording videos of the following four songs:

As noted, the lighting was extremely low, a condition my camera doesn’t handle very well. The audio quality is adequate, however, and well worth a listen.

Enjoy. I know I did.

Comments

dh
says:
June 22, 2007 at 7:34 AM

Sounds like a great concert to have attended. Nice that you had front row seats particularly since it was kept so dim and those front row seats, I am sure, really added to the intimacy of the venue. I enjoyed listening to the videos you recorded. Thanks for sharing!

Lonna Hanson
says:
June 22, 2007 at 1:22 PM

Thanks for sharing the video clips of the Ryan Adams concert. I really enjoyed listening. I, like you, am impressed with the way he sings. I am SO GLAD that you were able to get tickets and attend.
Mom

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