Last night I went to see Ryan Adams and the Cardinals at the Berkeley campus. I'm one of those people that probably talks about him too much and says how great and versatile he is all the time, and what a genius he is, while the person listening yawns patiently. Last night, he proved me so right.
Every recording I've ever heard of him does the man absolutely no justice. His voice, when heard live, is an amazing thing. It's weird to be surprised by what you hear when he first starts singing. The volume and richness of his voice is unbelievable. He went from folksy to rockabilly to flat-out experimental in no time at all.
My favorite songs last night? "Wonderwall" cover and "Goodnight Rose," where he dragged every last drop of aching in his body and poured it all over this song. Fucking incredible.
Annoying side note: He's totally insane and self-indulgent. As someone with little patience for guitar solos and encores, I felt tortured by how drawn out some songs were and by the constant stream-of-consciousness he voiced on stage for several minutes at a time, not to mention long bouts of complete silence. He's absolutely hysterical with his rants, but it was a bit too self-absorbed for my liking. (That said, the man can do whatever he wants and I will still pay large amounts of money to witness it.)
Here are some crappy photos I took with my phone: