Review: Ryan Adams @ Boulder Theater 10.29.2012


:: Ryan Adams ::

:: Boulder Theater :: October 29, 2012 ::

:: A Vote Early event sponsored by Barack Obama ::


Live recording of the show available here.

The Marquee makes no claims about the quality of this show recording, but it is posted to RyanAdamsArchive, which has been a reliable source for shows in the past. Users will need to become a member of the archive to download the show.

By Brian F. Johnson

Don’t get all up in my grill about this. I’m not saying it was bad.

It was good. Really good. I’d go see the same show 10 more times, but Monday night’s Boulder Theater performance by Ryan Adams — a special free event hosted by the Obama campaign — wasn’t anything different than the last couple of times he played Colorado.

The set Monday night, was nearly identical to Adams’ shows in 2011 at the Su Teatro Theatre in Denver, which was nearly identical to the set from February of this year at the Temple Buell Theatre, and those sets were nearly identical to Adams’ mammoth Live After Deaf box set that is comprised of 15 vinyl discs chronicling his acoustic European tour.

Again, this is phenomenal material and each show is an incredibly intimate evening with the artist, but once again, I am left wanting to hear a raucous rock and roll sound from Adams, like the ones he used to make with The Cardinals.

I will continue to be first in line to see these acoustic performances, to hang on every note waiting for the slight variations between versions and the differences in Adams banter, but I will leave each show still wanting to hear Adams backed by his former amazing band.

Seeing Adams by himself is sort of like being on the Atkins diet. Adams is the steak and the steak is really friggin tasty, but after a while of eating even the best steak, you need the potatoes to help compliment it, and The Cardinals were the potatoes, and the veggies, and the bread and the wine.

The most shining part of the evening though was that despite it being a political event, it was one of the least pressuring parts of the entire election. Adams really only addressed the basis of the evening once when he said: “There’s those two people that are running for president and only one of them has seen Star Wars — or understood Star Wars.”

Well said.


:: Ryan Adams ::

:: Boulder Theater :: October 29, 2012 ::

Oh My Sweet Carolina (with wife Mandy Moore)

Ashes & Fire

If I Am a Stranger

Dirty Rain

Winding Wheel

The Rescue Blues (on piano)

Please Do Not Let Me Go

Do I Wait


Everybody Knows

Sylvia Plath (on piano)

Let It Ride

English Girls Approximately

Chains of Love

Houses on the Hill

Mr. Cat (on piano)

New York, New York (on piano)

Come Pick Me Up


Black Sheets of Rain (Bob Mould cover)



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  1. I won’t disagree… it would be nice to see Ryan w/ a backing band again. I’ve prob seen 3-4 of these type’s of solo acoustic shows & I, like you, will continue to go but there hasn’t been much change in a couple years. From what I understand he is currently recording a new album so perhaps he’ll tour w/ a backing band in 2013. I really doubt it to be any version of the Cardinals though as I believe that band/name has been left behind. That & Chris “Spacewolf” Feinstein (Cardinals bassist from 2006 – 2009) passed away a few years ago.

    I sat in the second row of this show (for FREE!) & there were definitely some highlights: ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina’ w/ Mandy harmonizing, ‘Houses on the Hill’ (one of Whiskeytown’s best songs), ‘English Girls Approximately’ (which doesn’t show up in his setlists as often as the others), a nice piano version of ‘New York, New York’ & an encore tribute to Mr. Bob Mould w/ ‘Black Sheets of Rain’. The crowd was mellow & respectful which was nice as these shows are meant to be intimate. I was also pleased with the lack of politics that I was afraid could have overpowered the brilliance that is Ryan Adams. We all knew the politics of the evening, of Ryan & of Boulder in general so it was nice to just listen to some beautiful music & step away for a few minutes from the drama that is the upcoming election.

  2. I became a fan of his right when Gold came out, but I quickly became obsessed with Heartbreaker and the Whiskeytown stuff afterward. So I was happy because, I had only seen him twice before (once on the Gold tour and the other time on the Cold Roses tour). Love seeing him with the full band but it was a pleasure finally seeing a solo show. Very intimate. I can see your point, though.