Concert Review: Ryan Adams – Palace Theatre – St. Paul, MN – July 28, 2017

All photos courtesy Joe Stadele Photography.  All rights reserved.

One thing was very apparent at the Palace Theatre on Friday night; Ryan Adams was ready to rock; at least initially. On his first of two sold out shows, acoustic guitars and joke-filled banter were nearly absent. In exchange, Flying V’s, Les Paul’s, Jaguar’s were the axes of choice during a career-spanning set; heavy on fan favorites, light on new tracks from Prisoner & the Prisoner B-Sides collection.

With the exception of an acoustic “My Winding Wheel,”quiet “Prisoner” and building “I See Monsters,” the set was decidedly mid-to-uptempo with very little downtime or stage banter. The only substantial stage banter came in the form of an ad-libbed song 1-hour into the set; which Adams hilariously sang about needing catch his breath, going for a jog in downtown St. Paul and being a living, breathing Paxil commercial. From the opening “Gimme Something Good” to “Stay With Me” the band were loose and uptempo. The crowd hung on to every last word of a heartfelt “Two.” The stage went blue mid-set as “stars” shined across the stage and audience for a beautiful “When The Stars Go Blue.” Adams closed out a faithfully rocking “New York, New York” on harmonica, before moving into a 20-plus minute “Magnolia Mountain/Cold Roses” suite. “Shakedown on 9th Street” was pure explosiveness. Rounding out the night, Adams closed out the encore with a solemn trio of songs; “I See Monsters” developed from a quiet vocal performance to an explosive band performance, as did the a slowed down “Do I Wait.”

Adams quirky sense of humor still shined through his stage decoration; over-sized amps (both real and cardboard cutouts), tigers, cardboard cats, a pyramid of analog televisions and action figures. After clearing away the evil spirits with sage, none other than the Grim Reaper graced the audience at the top of the show. “Ryan, RYAN, RYAAANNN,” exclaimed the Reaper as pumped up the audience and summoned Ryan Adams and His Unknown Band to the stage. The Reaper even came back to add tambourine for “Let it Ride.”

Fans who missed Ryan Adams at The Palace have another opportunity this weekend as he headlines the Hinterland Festival at the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles, Iowa. Adams also returns for a special show with legend Emmylou Harris September 29th at Breeze Stevens Field in Madison, WI.

Setlist:
Gimme Something Good
Do You Still Love Me?
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
Outbound Train
Everybody Knows
Stay With Me
Two
Anything I Say To You Now
“I Just Need to Catch my Breath” (Ad-Libbed Song)
Doomsday

When The Stars Go Blue
New York, New York
Magnolia Mountain>Cold Roses>Magnolia Mountain
Let It Ride
Juli
My Winding Wheel
I Just Might
Am I Safe
Prisoner
To Be Without You
Shakedown On 9th Street

Encore
I See Monsters
Invisible Riverside
Do I Wait

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