In what may be their last tour for some time, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals put on a magical show on Friday night and thrilled the sold out show with a stunning exhibition of musicianship and exquisite vocals.
Ryan Adams recently stated that he will be leaving the Cardinals at the end of the current tour, and taking a step back from music. He has been diagnosed with Ménière's disease, which is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance and can eventually cause deafness in the affected ear. I imagine it would be a difficult ailment for a performing artist to cope with, especially a musician. He will instead be concentrating on his writing, with his first book, Infinity Blues, a collection of poetry and short stories, due for release in April this year.
The Cardinals, Neal Casal (lead guitar, vocals), Chris Feinstein (bass), John Graboff (pedal steel, vocals) and Brad Pemberton (drums) are one of the great live bands and they certainly didn't disappoint on Friday night, playing exhilarating country rock with a precision born of long association.
The evening was kicked off by the Clip Clop Club - the most unlikely support act - who astonished the Adams fans with renditions of Raw Hide, Ghost Riders in the Sky and an extraordinarily crass song called Kylie's Arse. Perhaps Ryan, having now given up every one of his vices, including cigarettes, would have related to I've Given Up Everything, sung to the tune of I've Been Everywhere. Instead of place names, the lyrics detail all the drugs and alcohol that had been consumed and abandoned by the narrator.
It was about 9.20 by the time Ryan and Cardinals took the stage. The theatre, in comparison to last time at the Palais was steaming hot rather than freezing cold, but the stage lighting once again was subdued.
hardly mattered as the Cardinals performed in close sequence, the crowd
pleasing When the Stars Go Blue, Two from Easy Tiger
and Let it Ride from Cold Roses.
does one become a person squirter?" he asked, adding, "I'm looking
for another gig," no doubt referring to his impending retirement
from the music business.
Ryan Adams' retirement from music doesn't last too long and that he'll
be back soon to entertain his devoted Aussie fans. Meanwhile, I'll treasure
the memory of this show till he next graces our shores.
On stage 9.20
1. When The
Stars Go Blue
Off stage 11.15
Review and photos by Anne Sydenham