Ryan Adams & The Cardinals (March 12th - 20th) ***Tour Blog***

Welcome to Sweet Illusions!
For the next 10 days, I will be using this blogspot as a webspace to document my travels through the South (South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, & Georgia) as The Cardinals finish out what could be their last tour ever.
Check back regularly for setlists, tour updates, general commentary, bar stories, and other tales from the road...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Fabulous Fox Theater - Atlanta, GA (Goodnight...Rose)

My apologies for the delay since that fateful night at the Fox! (technical difficulties and travel time) It's gonna be tough to put this one into words. I've had two nights to sleep on my thoughts and impressions and I'm just blown away... still... to a million blissful pieces. The Fox show was one for the history books, boys and girls.

I am not going to comment as much as I normally would from a review standpoint. I just want to relay to you all that this is how the Cardinals and LIVE MUSIC are meant to be heard. I always thought that I knew what Ryan and The Cards were supposed to sound like on a "good" night until Friday. Every jam, every vocal harmony, every drum beat, every guitar strum, every aspect of sound, light, color - it was a perfect, powerful, musical balance of intensity.

Thank you, Ryan, Brad, Chris, Jon, and Neal for an unprecedented performance. You gave us all a special show. I'm still picking up pieces of my brain from the mind explosion.

*** My apologies for some of the blurriness of the photos (although sometimes it captures the mood and nostalgia of 3/20 well). I was in row R and had to run up to the pit every 20 mins to snap shots, then get yelled at and asked to return to my seat... then run up to the pit... - you get the idea, but there are definitely some gems among the bunch

The Fabulous Fox Theater 03/20/09: SETLIST (via Joel @ www.ryanadamsarchive.com) Thanks!

On: about 8:45pm EST

1. Magick
2. Let it Ride
3. Two
4. Everybody Knows
5. Beautiful Sorta
6. Mockingbird>
7. Dear Chicago>
8. Blue Hotel (Sweet Man)
9. Cold Roses (So On) (Shiiiiiiiiiiit)
10. Natural ghost
11. Easy Plateau (Ryan and Neal solos sick and on spot)>
12. Bartering Lines (Fucking Sick) (dood)
13. Band Intros
14. Fix It
15. Magnolia Mountain (fucking on...That a fn mag mtn. Solos were so tight)
16. Please Do Not Let Me Go
17. Peaceful Valley (Intense)
18. Freeway to the Canyon

Off: 10:12pm EST

On 10:22pm EST

19. When the Stars Go Blue
20. Sink Ships
21. Oh My Sweet Carolina (fucking Beautiful Man)
22. Grand Island (Ryan's Solos are so sick)
23. Evening Joke
24. I See Monsters (Neal's solos were sick and delicate)
25. Come Pick Me Up
26. Rescue Blues
27. Wonderwall
28. Goodnight Rose (Fitting and with a Bang!!)

Off: 11:20pm EST

1.) Peaceful Valley Jam - Neal and Ryan melted my cereberals. #1 Highlight
2.) Goodnight Rose - a magnificent ending to an impeccable set
3.) Solos during: Maggie Mtn, Easy Plateau, Wonderwall, Icy Monsters, Cold Roses, Bartering Lines
4.) Come Pick Me Up & Oh My Sweet Carolina - dazzling, entrancing and sick harmonica work
5.) THE CROWD KICKED ASS !!!!!! (so did the venue!)

The Fab Fox, prior to showtime

Thug Life

First Merch Pic

The Lobby

The last rose

And it begins...

... yeah, a lot of Ryan pics tonight (cpmu pic)

Neal, ripping...

Mr. Graboff in a blaze of glory

Best pic all night... gettin this one framed

During the last notes of 'Goodnight Rose'...

Lights up. Wow.

Minds melted.

Outside the Fox

Sweet satisfaction. Not only did the Fox a provide a scorching hot make-up show, it was one of the best concerts I've ever been a part of.

Courtesy of 'BatDance' on youtube via the RAA - I've probably watched this video 10 times since I found it. Maybe if I keep watching, I will understand the blazing genius of this solo...

TRY LINK: "Peaceful Valley Jam"

Thanks everyone for reading so far! I've enjoyed meeting up with so many of you and I hope these last dates were just as satisfying to you all as they were to me. One last post to go and I'm gonna need all of your help on this one, so please stay tuned again!!!!!

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened..." - Dr. Seuss

Friday, March 20, 2009

Saenger Theater - Mobile, AL

Sorry to drop the ball on this one - my camera was on a strange setting that I couldn't fix until after the show, so I could only salvage a few pics and I was so exhausted from the 7 hour drive from Memphis to Mobile that I overslept and I need to beat the hour change to Atlanta from here...so...damn.

So very quickly:

The Pros:
1.) The acoustics at the Saenger were disgustingly good, flowed through my loins
2.) The lighting looked amazing against the backdrop curtain
3.) Graboff gave us a steel pedal licking last night
4.) There were no drunk asshole awards handed out
5.) 23 songs were played

The Cons:
1.) Ryan's vocals weren't as strong as what we've seen so far this tour, very subdued
2.) No setlist surprises
3.) There was some obvious tension and back and forth battles for paces of songs to be changed that made for some disappointment
ie. I love "PV" and "Goodnight Rose" because they are the jammiest
cuts of the arsenal right now on tour, but the solos were more bland than
normal and right when you thought that they were escalating to levels of
glory, they kind of dropped back to flacid. It seemed like Brad and Jon
tried to take songs to new heights, but everything kind of fell short...

Not the heroic, redemptive show I was hoping for last night in Mobile, but the venue was solid and at least we got 23 songs to the face. I'm really hoping that Atlanta is a blowout...

Sorry to run, but I gotta roll...

Saenger Theater 03/19/09: SETLIST

On: 9:44pm EST

1. I See Monsters
2. Fix It
3. Everybody Knows
4. Crossed Out Name
5. Come Pick Me Up
6. Cobwebs
7. Two
8. Freeway To The Canyon
9. Beautiful Sorta
10. Let It Ride
11. Natural Ghost
12. Grand Island
13. Born into a Light
14. Stars Go Blue
15. Goodnight Rose
16. Lost Satelight
17. Mockingbird
18. Cold Roses
19. Shakedown on 9th Street
20. A Kiss Before I Go
21. Peaceful Valley
22. Evergreen
23. Magick

Off: 11:16pm EST

Downtown southern ass Mobile, AL

Inside the venue

At a piano bar after the show...

... And if you don't know who Kenny F-ing Powers is, then you're a retard

(My apologies again for the camera malfunction)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Minglewood Hall - Memphis, TN

Memphis Meltdown ... kind of. It was like a hearty turkey melt with not enough condiments. Personally, I was in it and fully taking the vibe-age from song 1; I loved the switch up with a Let it Ride opener. The first 6 songs were crusher good, above average, wham-bam cuts. I loved Peaceful Valley yet again - it has become my favorite song of the tour. Which is weird. I still can't even stomach the glory that was the Louisville "PV". It was so sick, I feel sick thinking about the sickness. Tonight's "Peaceful V" got me going too - it needs to stay a constant as we move toward ATL.

However, Evergreen was just ok and from there I felt the awkward electricity. It didn't surge well with the people who cared, that is the ones that weren't talking like they had fog horns attached to their uppers and bottoms. And once the first so called "set" broke, I became more inerested in the people I've met so far than even the music.

Easy Plateau was pretty good as it went on. I guess the towell was just thrown hard on this one. I hate to see a tension like this between so many great musicians, but it needs to get straightened out for the remaining two shows. I talked to people from the friggin' United Kingdom tonight and if anything they deserve a moderate show, so do the ones I met from Fargo or Maine. People are traveling far and wide to celebrate this band. It's a gut wrenching bummer when this shit doesn't pan out.

The thing is, I have the faith that it was just a mixture of the elements and the show tomorrow will trump this one hard. Fingers crossed.

The "Drunk Asshole Award" goes to the entire crowd tonight. I felt like I was at a sorority formal pre-game party (with expensive beers) for the majority of the night.

Minglewood Hall 03/18/09: SETLIST

On Stage: 8:38 pm

1. Let it Ride
2. Two
3. Mockingbird
4. Goodnight Rose
5. Fix It
6. Peaceful Valley
7. Evergreen
8. Grand Island (NC)
9. Beautiful Sorta
10. Blue Hotel

Set Break approx 9:40 pm

On Stage 9:53 pm

11. Everybody Knows
12. Come Pick Me Up
13. Freeway to the Canyon (NC)
14. Natural Ghost
15. Shakedown
16. Easy Plateau
17. Magick

Off Stage 10:26 pm

The only outside pic I could snap
And the good, bad, and the rest of the ugly...

Killer Neal


Decent band shot

Favorite pic of the night

Some B-Nasty

The last "good one"

Whitney attack!

And then the bar across the street... beer and pool distractions

The bummed, but seemingly happy fans


Whatever. Memphis kicked ass and Alabama will be a satisfying cup of redemption. I know it. It better be anyway after a near 7 hour drive.

...on the flipside kiddos.