He played for three hours and ten minutes. Gorgeous set. Spectacular. It got a little jam band-y at times, which is not my thing, but you can't complain about beautiful music. I think "Off Broadway" lasted half an hour. Ha.
"Halloweenhead" into "Goodnight Hollywood Boulevard" into "I See Monsters." However, they played an unexpected version of "Halloweenhead" - with Ryan at the piano, and devoid of the danceable tempo recorded for Easy Tiger. Here's the thing: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals are unbelievably tight. Ridiculous. The sound amazed, so it was still enjoyable if not danceable.
Yay for: "A Kiss Before I Go," "Let it Ride," "Two," "The Sun Also Sets," (one of my favorites on Easy Tiger) "Beautiful Sorta," "Blue Hotel," "The End," "Stars Go Blue," "Goodnight Rose," "Rescue Blues," "Wildflowers."
"WHY DO THEY LEAVE" !!! My favorite of the sets, though..."I See Monsters" may be tied; he rocked out "I See Monsters" and the guitar riff filled every inch of the entire cavernous room. Wow.
The one upbeat song of the whole night was "Shakedown on 9th Street," though by that time, Kelly and I were in the back of the room, needing to take a pee break (THREE HOURS, people) and I definitely danced around and screamed out "Lucy! Lucy my gal! Lucy! Lucy my sweet!" surrounded by people too high to join in with me. Whatever. I'm a show dork - with any band I love.
Ryan's voice killed. During "Dear John" and "Cold Roses" I was holding my breath the harmonies sounded so good. Not a crack, never short of breath. Pristine.
Also, I love the way Ryan sings especially heartwrenching parts of some songs: he manages to get under the microphone, as if he's going to crumple to the ground he's so strained, but it looks like his mouth is almost magnetized to stay up with the mic, and he manages to belt out the rest of the notes in that position; like he's holding on by an invisible, thin thread.
[Sidenote: Ryan and the band did not dress up for Halloween. Some of the audience members definitely did, which Kelly and I found great to make fun of as we sipped our beers before the show. Kelly turns to me deadpan: "I'm so glad we're not those people who get dressed up on Halloween. Thank you."]
Songs that could have been played that didn't get played: "Dear Chicago" (somebody even made a sign - really? You made a sign that said "Please play Dear Chicago" and brought it to a Ryan Adams concert? Really? Then again, I wished it had worked.), "Come Pick Me Up," (Have yet to hear this song live. Grumble.) "Rip Off," "I Taught Myself How to Grow Old," "Oh My Sweet Carolina," "La Cienega Just Smiled." He's played all these songs in sets on this tour. Sadface.
The trouble with Ryan is that he has such a vast catalogue. I have my favorites, but there's no guarantee that he's going to play them because he has about eight million other songs he could play instead. Overall, any Ryan Adams show is a grand experience - I just wish he had played some faster songs to shake around to instead of simply standing on my feet for three hours. Yeah, those seats were looking good by the end of it.