Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Cardinals Live in Austin (10/13/08)*

*This is a re-post. The original was posted on October 21, 2008. The setlist is now linked to mp3's from the show courtesy

i wanted to wait until/if the show i attended at the Paramount Theatre in Austin last week was put on, but i'm impatient. Believe it or not, this was my first Ryan Adams show ever. I know.... how can i claim to be such a fan... blah, blah, blah. But unless it's some local flavor of the week, pretty-face country crooner, or MTV star - we don't get a lot of shows down this way. At least not my kind of music. i did have a few chances in the last couple years to catch Ryan, but my school schedule never seemed to cooperate.

The show was great. The venue was classical, ornate, and very fitting for my views of Ryan's worth. i was up in the balcony, which wasn't very far from the stage, but it was much higher than the stage. i can't say that i was blown away by the show - and that may have been different had i been closer - but there's no denying the skill and artistry that Ryan and The Cardinals have. The stage was set in a simple but unique way - two neon blue 'roses' (above) hanging on each side, between them the Cardinology symbol with Brad's gong dangling amid the wishbone. Unlike most shows/bands, Ryan didn't front the drummer. Instead, each player had an equal linear spot on stage. Ryan--Brad--Chris--Neal--Jon.

We got a good taste of Cardinology at the show - 8 of 12 tracks - and from what i could surmise, it will be much better than Easy Tiger. ET bordered on adult contemporary with simple, rolling guitar licks and soft vocals. The new one, at least live, has much more energy in it. Sinking Ships, Natural Ghost, and Magick stood out to me.

Ryan reached back all the way to Heartbreaker for 3 tracks, but spent most of his time between songs from the 2 newest albums. They played a handful of the best tracks from Cold Roses, but the highlight for me was Desire - the only tune taken from the post-Gold/pre-JCN era. Of course, each tune was somewhat rearranged from the the album cuts. Goodnight Rose had a jazzy breakdown capped off with an a capella ending and Ryan widened his vocal range and style in most of the songs.

Ryan was uncharacteristically quiet between songs, save for a rambling about his OCD and need to wear a jacket whenever he doesn't hold a guitar. In the first set, the band bantered about Neal's new guitar - named Sparrowmyth by Ryan (a semi-play on Aerosmith) - that morphed into a comedic exchange about Joe Perry's interest transition from blow to barbecue sauce.

  1. Cobwebs
  2. Come Pick Me Up
  3. Everybody Knows
  4. Wonderwall
  5. Magick
  6. Let It Ride
  7. Desire
  8. Fix It
  9. Natural Ghost
  10. Goodnight Rose
  11. The Sun Also Sets*
  12. Dear John
  13. Crossed-Out Name
  14. Stars Go Blue
  15. Sink Ships
  16. Stop (Ryan on Keys)
--Set Break--
  1. Off Broadway
  2. Cold Roses
  3. Shakedown
  4. Bartering Lines
  5. Neal Casal - Freeway to the Canyon
  6. Peaceful Valley
  7. Two
  8. Easy Plateau
  9. Go Easy
No Encore.

Entire Show (ZIP)

*The band changed their linuep a bit - Neal played the keyboard and Jon left the pedal for the electric guitar while Ryan, pausing to put on his jacket, took the mic empty handed.


  1. i saw him play in boston for my first time earlier this tour. i agree, it was an awesome show... but i wanted to hear to be young so badly!

  2. Saw the Boston show too. It was amazing. The new, rocked up versions of "Off Broadway" and "Bartering Lines" were phenomenal, its like they are completely different songs.