Review: Ryan Adams at Temple Buell, 2/4/12

Categories: Last Night

Noah Van Sciver
Butch Walker last night at the Buell, seen through the eyes of Noah Van Sciver.

In this case, the "then some" above refers to Butch Walker. If you missed his opening set, whoo, boy! -- let's just say you missed a lot. As the lights went down, Walker muttered something off-mike about being buddies with Ryan, and it's a safe bet that some folks in the back didn't catch what he said and may have even thought he was Adams (their voices have a similar timbre, and in the dark, from a distance, they faintly resemble each other). Just the same, Walker was simply mind-blowing in his own right.

Opening with "Joan," he immediately sucked us all in with a flawless falsetto and the lines about Colorado. After a few songs, each filled with the kind of incisive lines that Randy Newman would admire, one guy said what the rest of us were all no doubt thinking: "You're good, man!" Near the end of his criminally short set, by the time he phoned up his dad in Georgia to get us all to wish him happy anniversary (Walker's parents celebrated fifty years today), we were putty in his hands. More so when he went on to recount the story of his dad taking him to his first Kiss concert at the age of eight and how profoundly it impacted him -- the music, the people passing joints, but mostly seeing the old man choking the guy behind them dressed like Gene Simmons and spilling beer on his dad's leather jacket.

Walker mentioned how he and Adams sort of formed a mutual admiration society on Twitter. When "Lucky Now" was released, Walker evidently Tweeted Adams (probably drunk, he reveals) to say "Fuck you, Ryan Adams, for writing such a good song!" He confessed to the crowd that he, like everybody else on hand tonight, is a fan of Adams. It's safe to say that many of those same people, at least the ones who caught his set, can now say the same of Walker -- if they weren't already, that is.


Personal Bias: Been a fan of Adams since the Whiskeytown days, and have always thought Heartbreaker contained some of his best work.

Random Detail: Although his guitar was plugged in, an additional condenser mike set up on a stand in front of his guitar enhanced the overall sound and dynamic range, allowing us to hear every nuance of the songs and his playing. Bonus Random Detail: The same shrill Shrek-like voice that played before the show last fall at Su Teatro (captured by That's The Thing About That), the one urging everybody to shut off their phones lest the ushers destroy you and burn your remains, played before last night's show.

By the Way: Adams surmised that the "one good song" remark the guy made was referring to "Come Pick Me Up," hands down the ringer song of the set. The crowd went absolutely bananas when he cued it up. Also, while "Nutshell" was dope, we would've straight-up killed for some "Round and Round."



Ryan Adams
Temple Buell Theatre - Denver, CO

01. Oh My Sweet Carolina
02. Ashes & Fire
03. If I Am a Stranger
04. Dirty Rain
05. My Winding Wheel
06. Sweet Lil Gal (23rd/1st)
07. Invisible Riverside
08. Everybody Knows
09. Firecracker
10. Let It Ride
11. Rescue Blues
12. Please Do Not Let Me Go
13. English Girls Approximately
14. Chains of Love
15. Two
16. Lucky Now
17. Avenues
18. New York, New York
19. Wonderwall
20. The End
21. 16 Days
22. Come Pick Me Up


23. Nutshell (Alice In Chains cover)
24. When Will You Come Back Home?

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Location Info


Temple Buell Theatre

14th and Curtis streets, Denver, CO

Category: Music

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Actually, I was the inquiring mind that asked him about the Buck Owens guitars, and I did get the Lemmy joke (although it wasn't really a joke, more of a testament to Lemmy's iron constitution.) I think Ryan Adams and Motorhead have a lot more crossover than Dave Herrara gives due.


On Dude commenting on Ryan Adams hair.see clip youtube: Ryan Adams Denver 2012 Have fun 

Frank A Munafo
Frank A Munafo

Great show. Great review. The no booze thing was a bummer, but I found the rest of the "rules" enhanced the performance. I know a lot of times I'm guilty of texting friends the set and what not, but last night I was 110% fixated on the show. Also, if any of you get a chance to see a full on Butch Walker show, do so. It will change your life.

Karl Kukta
Karl Kukta

excellent review of a fantastic show - props mr Herrera.  This was my second time seeing DRA (the first time was w/ the Cardinals at Red Rocks) and Ryan's performance blew my expectations out of the proverbial water.  Now I'm compulsively going back through his whole catalog, with a huge smile on my face. 

Not once during the show did I wish he had a band with him.   The man's voice and melodies need no accompaniment.  And what a perfect venue for the show.  I wish Fleet Foxes had played at the Temple Buell - it would have much more suitable for their music than the cavernous chatty Fillmore.


An amazing set last night. Ryan Adams sounds incredible and you've done a great job in capturing his witty remarks and the overall feel of the concert. My favorite is when he asked the audience to imagine what the members of Black Sabbath were texting each other at that very moment...maybe they just send pictures of lightning bolts to each other...I really don't get the random outbursts - or the wild clapping after a song has begun, sometimes long after it has begun. The guy behind me kept calling out the song names after he'd recognize them and follow up with a "Woo!" reminiscent of the Nature Boy Rick Flair.The show was great though and I'll definitely be seeing more at Temple Buell Theatre in the future.


Some people in Denver need to pull their heads out of their ass and improve their theater etiquette.


I really like your review, and I totally agree with your assessment. A few typos though. Eats, shoots and leaves.


The Ryan Adams show was so fantastic.  I have been a Ryan Adams fan for a long time and the last time I saw him in Telluride with the Cardinals I was not impressed. (too loud for me) This time I got exactly what I wanted.  Ryan by himself, singing beautifully written songs with that amazing voice in a really nice venue.  The sound was so good. Ryan is so talented and so funny... I hope he comes back to Colorado very soon! 


(# 7 is actually "invisible riverside" and # 15 is called "two")

The show was great fun. It was a nice combination of Ryan Adams the serious songwriter and Ryan Adams the quirky comedian. His improv songs are funny and clever, the hecklers are ridiculous but a reality at nearly every DRA show. He handled it well. The set list was similar to the September show at Su Teatro but different enough to be satisfying to a serious fan like me. His vocals were top notch. He has some pipes!


Show was good. 16 days was a nice surprise. Ryan made sure to give some hecklers all they could handle. Dude can lay down the lyrics.


Fair enough, Ragu. I stand corrected. Thanks for weighing in.


Just added. Thanks for the tip and for reading, Millenniumhart.


Thanks, Karl. Fully concur on the band comment and the choice of the Buell. Ideal setting. Thanks for reading and for weighing in!


Ah, man, totally forgot about the Black Sabbath bit. That was freaking hilarious!


I honestly think it's truly hard for some people to contain their exuberance. For what it's worth, at least they saved their commentary for the space in between songs. My favorite moment was when a dude in the front shouted "loud noises" during the free-for-all towards the end. What I was thinking at precisely that instant: "I don't know what we're yelling about." Brick Tamland, FTW!


 No problem. I was actually curious to know if Buck had actually owned one of those guitars before (not out of the realm of possibility), and I figured he might actually entertain the question. But he clearly didn't hear the question and I didn't want to pester him about it. Later, some dude behind me told me he refers to the guitar(s) as "Buck", so I guess that answered my question some what.

Great show b/t/w. Really great to hear 16 days.

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