Adams charm­ing and fun

South Waikato News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

There’s a lot of mod­ern-day folk­lore sur­round­ing Ryan Adams. He’s grumpy, he’s dark, he’s de­press­ing. If you be­lieve the ru­mours, he’s thrown peo­ple out of his shows for talk­ing, drink­ing or ask­ing him to play Sum­mer of 69.

But go­ing on last week’s out­ing at The Civic in Auck­land, that is all rub­bish.

Adams has been here be­fore, a cou­ple of times. And al­ways with a band and a new at­ti­tude. This time there was no band; just the man, a gui­tar, pi­ano if he chose, and that voice.

It should have been a true hal­lelu­jah mo­ment, edge- of- your- seat hushed beauty, as Adams marked his re­turn to the stage af­ter years off strug­gling with the de­bil­i­tat­ing Me­niere’s dis­ease. But he ru­ined that. He ru­ined it by be­ing in a chatty, charm­ing, en­gag­ing mood.

More than the mu­sic, he was fun and the ban­ter was al­most bet­ter than the songs. He re­told re­cent tales of ho­tel jack­ham­mers, gym out­ings with a man who re­sem­bled ‘‘Robert de Niro as a hawk’’ and sang an ut­terly bril­liant song about his cat.

When you strip away the myth of the man, you are left with some­thing quite bril­liant. Of course he is a won­der­ful song-writer, but alone on that stage it is Adams’ voice that stuns.

With the open­ing lines of Sweet Carolina ring­ing out in the theatre, no-one dared move – all that could be heard was that voice and the squeak­ing of its owner’s chair.

That rev­er­ence stayed the same over the next two hours as the one-time bad-boy of alt-coun­try jour­neyed through his ex­ten­sive back cat­a­logue, right back to the song 16 from his Whiskey­town days, through to last year’s re­turn to form Ashes and Fire.

He got lively for English Girls Ap­prox­i­mately, he stripped it back for New York, New York, he in­duced goose bumps with Come Pick Me Up, he fin­ished on Alice In Chains’ Nutshell.

Adams was a man in per­fect voice, who wanted to have fun and seemed gen­uinely happy to be back on the stage singing the songs peo­ple adore. It seems it might be time for a new folk­lore to be writ­ten. stuff

FOLK­LORE: Singer Ryan Adams thrilled au­di­ences with his unique voice last week.

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