Ryan Adams

By Alva Casey

Artist: Ryan Adams

Date / Venue: Tuesday July 14th, 2015 - Town Hall, Auckland

Tuesday is the worst day of the week. All the weekend fun is forgotten and the trudge to the next is daunting. But this Tuesday has a silver lining, an audience with Ryan Adams. It's been just over three years since the singer/songwriter/producer/god-to-many visited the land of the long white cloud and now he returns to promote his new self titled album "Ryan Adams" and this time he is accompanied by his new backing bandThe Shining.

Our support tonight was Tiny Ruins and it would have been hard to ask for a better warm up act with her haunting voice and beautiful song writing.

We endured a slight wait and then the man himself took to stage. Blasting straight into 'Gimme Something Good' from the mentioned new album the audience met him with enthusiastic response.

Tonight was a concert for fans. Less than a handful of the set list was from his latest work. They peppered themselves through the evening as we wandered back through old albums such as Love Is Hell, Demolition, Heartbreaker and Gold to name but a few. We certainly got our monies worth with the set lasting almost two hours. While occasionally the instrumentals may have felt a tad long they were beautifully performed with the whole on stage ensemble working together magically. The audience went from swaying softly to dancing fanatically like at a barn dance seamlessly and happily.

As Mr Adams himself said "This place is beautiful". Auckland's Town Hall's Great Hall became a magical venue as the coloured lights lit up the organ behind at the back of the stage and cast across the ceiling. Accompanied with the on stage set of old arcade games there was a juxtaposition that helped make the evening magical. The acoustics were spot on.

It was a personable gig. With so many old classics every member of the audience would have had at least one, if not multiple tracks, to associate with various memories. Even right down to the rather fondly made and entertaining intros to each of The Shining's members.

Despite all better judgement someone did request 'Summer of 69'. There was a moment of hush, fear and irritation. Worries disbanded as we were politely and rather amusingly declined.

The end came almost abruptly and we genuinely thought it truly was all over. House lights on, generic music in the background. Most of us were one foot out the door when once more the lights dimmed and he took to the stage solo for one more time and an encore. When one has such a huge back catalogue, that even in two hours has barely been scratched, what does one play for an encore? Turns out 'Wonderwall'. Not everyone could finish on a cover but it is fair to say over the years Adams has put his own stamp on this particular track.

Ultimately I fell in love with Ryan Adams all over again tonight.