We almost got in a fight at a Ryan Adams show once, when a particularly engaged patron took offense at the brusque manner with which we bumped our way to the front of the house before the set started. Pretty sure the dude said something about how he’d been waiting in the spot for a while, and then we chuckled dismissively and said something annoying like “bro, it’s a show” and then more words were said and more hard stares were exchanged; blows were averted, just barely, by the fact that both participants in the potential rumble were the type of people who listen to Ryan Adams.
The point of the story is it turned out that angry fan was right: At Ryan Adams shows, when the crooner is all locked in and hushed and intense and sorrowful, for maximum communal connection you should be standing perfectly still, preferably for hours. And that’s our unnecessarily long-winded way of pointing you to remarkably steady YouTube footage of a surprise solo Adams show which went down last night in L.A., an opening spot for Emmylou Harris at the El Rey Theater. Adams played a pretty new song called “Dirty Rain” and a few other pretty new songs that lacked explicitly identified names, and also ran through “Oh My Sweet Carolina,” his absolute gut-punch of a duet with Harrris from his solo debut, Heartbreaker. And all of these clips are perfectly good options as background music for sitting somewhere, alone, and possibly crying, a little, if you feel like it right now. Just a thought!
“Oh My Sweet Carolina”