Video: Ryan Adams – Live On Letterman

When Ryan Adams was announced as the latest act set to play a Live On Letterman webcast, I wondered how he would take to the environment. Before each Live On Letterman set the crowd is encouraged to get rowdy, take as many photos as they wanted and to tweet the night away – all the shit that Ryan Adams hates. When the singer-songwriter took the stage and avoided looking at anyone, I thought it might be a long night. Luckily Adams relaxed after a few songs and the audience was so taken by his gentle voice and gorgeous tunes that you could hear a pin drop, despite the pre-show announcement telling us to stand up and scream.

By the end of the night, Adams had spun yarns about Moonlighting and KISS that had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Offering an hour-long set chock full of tunes from his latest LP, Ashes & Fire, the North Carolina native showed why he was one of our generation’s greatest songwriters, with the voice of an angel to boot. A sure highlight was Adams’ emotion-laden performance of the Whiskeytown classic Jacksonville Skyline. Ryan also knew his audience and went to the piano to deliver a stirring New York, New York. Add in a Bob Mould cover (Black Sheets of Rain), and you have one of the best Live On Letterman performances to date – which is saying a lot. If you missed it, here’s your chance to watch…

Set: Oh My Sweet Carolina, Ashes & Fire, If I Am A Stranger, Dirty Rain, New York New York, Do I Wait, Lucky Now, Jacksonville Skyline, Black Sheets of Rain, English Girls Approximately, 16 Days

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3 Responses

  1. Very similar setlist to the Baltimore show on Sunday night (albeit 1/2 as long). Ryan sounded fantastic in B-more, and his stage banter was hilarious.

  2. Very impressive performance. I’m looking forward to seeing him at The Orpheum in Boston tomorrow night…

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