:: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals ::
:: Broomfield Event Center :: December 8 ::
:: supporting Oasis ::
Photo by Chris Dodge
There’s a reason that Ryan Adams refers to his band as the “MFC” (Mother Fuckin’ Cardinals), because the band is, in fact, a bunch of mother fuckers, who have taken their rock/jam/alt-country sound and shaped it into one of the most interesting and impassioned acts on the road today.
With heavy snow falling outside, a down-right dismal crowd inside, and an opening spot for Oasis, The Cardinals could have easily phoned in their set Monday night at the Broomfield Event Center, but the rose-logoed rockers approached the set with great fervor, and ended up putting in one of the best sets of music that I’ve ever seen at the Denver area’s oddest music venue.
I missed the first song, due to the ridiculous parking set-up (more on that later), but as I went through security (more on that later too) and found my seat (ditto) “Crossed Out Name,” off the band’s latest album Cardinology, echoed through the seemingly empty ice rink.
Many folks, even good fans of Adams, continually expect him to play soft acoustic rock, a la his breakout release Heartbreaker. But with the Cardinals behind him, Adams rarely delivers that these days. His track “Everybody Knows,” off last year’s Easy Tiger, is an acoustic-based track, but little of that came through, as the band tore through it with a rocking edge not heard on the album.
The set continued like that taking songs that may have come across as soft ballady numbers on the albums, but from the stage were full on rock songs. Even the track “Off Broadway” which was never an album favorite, for me, was presented in a rock version that made me enjoy the song for the first time.
But the surprise of the set was Adam’s trademark song, “Come Pick Me Up.” The song, which originally appeared on Heartbreaker, has been a thorn in Adam’s side for some time. Though the song brought him some notoriety and popularity, he had vowed several times that he wouldn’t play it live again, and has, in fact, lashed out at fans from the stage who have requested it. But apparently, he’s comfortable enough with The Cardinals re-arrangement of the song that he belted it out, to the audience’s delight — and on par for the night, it wasn’t done as an acoustic track.
The set was short, only one hour, but that was expected as an opener. What wasn’t expected was how much Adams and The Cardinals made of that hour. Truly great!
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view of Oasis) holiday parties were also on the schedule for the night and I bolted before Oasis took the stage.
I said I’d revisit parking, security and seating later and here it is:
Simply put, I hope I never have to see a show at this venue again. $10 parking? $15 for close-in? Come on! That’s absolute rape. Sure, lots of music venues back east and around the country do it, but we’re not them and we shouldn’t be. It seems awfully random when they’ll decide to make you pay for parking. I’ve been to several shows there before where there were no fees, so I showed up ill prepared with no cash in my wallet and was forced to scour the local neighborhood for one of a very few public and free spots.
That was frustrating in and of itself, but going through security had all the compassion of a strip search at Guantanamo Bay. I mean, a full pat down for The Cardinals and Oasis? What is this, an Insane Clown Posse show? You really need to pat down yuppies and stoners? Oh…and if you’re going to do it, Broomfield, at least be good at it. I switched my pipe from my front to my back pocket almost directly in front of the guy and he still didn’t find it. What in the hell is the purpose of groping my legs if you’re not going to find shit in my pockets?
Finally, the inept security team was embarrassing in their “control” of the under-whelming crowd. Is it really, really necessary to make everyone sit in their assigned seat during the opener when half the venue is empty? Since the lights were down when I came in, and I’m not familiar with the venue well enough to find my seat in the dark, I grabbed a seat in my section. Despite the fact that there were 40 or more empty seats around me, the Yellow Shirt descended upon me, directed me out of the seat I was occupying, but didn’t have the decency to take the time to show me to my REAL seat…I guess she was too busy keeping the stampeding crowd at bay.
Crossed Out Name
When The Stars Go Blue
Let It Ride
Come Pick Me Up
I Taught Myself How To Grow Old