So, a friend of mine had tickets to the Ryan Adams gig at the London Palladium on Monday night and asked me to catch the show with him. I did and I didn't like what I saw.
I knew it was going to be a sedate affair. The venue, the early stage time and now teetotal Mr Adams promised as such. But seriously... what the fuck? I once saw Ryan Adams play an electrifying show to a sellout crowd in Manchester (circa 2004) that concluded with him writhing on the floor blasting out a feedback drenched cover of The Headmaster Ritual while dressed as Superman. It was amazing. Monday night was not.
Granted, this was a solo show and yeah, the drugs and booze are behind him but there's something that really bugs me Ryan Adams 2012 and I think I've figured out what it is. He's sold out. Not in the traditional 'TV commercial' sense but more like 'I now make middle of the road, singer-songwriter shit for old people who like comfort more than music. It's easy, keeps me off the booze and contributes to my pension.'
He doesn't like that fucking music. He was wearing a denim jacket with an Emperor patch on the back. He talked about The Exploited and then remarked when the greying, bespectacled audience looked blankly back at him. He closed with a fucking Danzig cover (which again got a muted reaction from the audience). Needless to say they applauded the shit out of his sub-par solo material from his last couple of piss weak solo efforts.
So, this is what he is now. This is what he's chosen. The easy route. No more Replacements-esque punk heartbreak. No more Morrisey style black humour. Just ballads. About love and feelings and hearts, for old people.
People didn't even recognise Whiskeytown, man... shit.