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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Cacti aside, Adams and The Cardinals deliver polished set”

    Sometimes it isn’t a good idea to be fashionably late. Typically bands don’t come on stage at the time they are supposed to, leaving the masses to knock back a couple of beers and socialize. Concertgoers at the Rialto Theatre received a treat on Friday when a thin, unkempt Ryan Adams took the stage before he was slotted to, treating the audience to a solo acoustic performance and his infamous nonsensical banter. Then, just after 8 p.m., he re-entered the stage with The Cardinals, for an incredibly polished show.

    The band played in front of tacky fake cacti and amidst bad lighting, which initially made it difficult to take their brand of alt-country seriously. Despite the distracting decoration choices, the band shined throughout the night, performing songs from most of Adams’ albums.

    “”Dear John,”” from Jacksonville City Nights, was a highlight of the night as it translated better live than on the album, even without the presence of Norah Jones. Any cracks in Adams voice that night were forgiven as he sang “”But I had too much hurt to bother you/ When we lost our first child I thought a little pain was overdue/ And I wanted you so bad.””

    Easy Tiger, Adam’s latest full release, understandably received the most amount of play, with “”Two”” and “”Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.”” sounding much like their solid studio counterparts. Weaker tracks on Easy Tiger, “”Goodnight Rose”” and “”The Sun Also Sets,”” were stronger live, with the band taking a slower approach to the cheesy-love lyrics of “”Goodnight Rose.”” “”The Sun Also Sets,”” performed in front of a “”psychedelic sunset”” (as noted by Adams), was played similarly to the album version except vocal and instrument emphasis was placed on the chorus instead of each individual verse.

    “”When the Stars Go Blue,”” from 2001’s Gold, proved to be a crowd favorite, with many audience members singing along through the chorus with Adams: “”Where do you go when you’re lonely/ Where do you go when you’re blue/ Where do you go when you’re lonely/ I’ll follow you/ When the stars go blue.”” Despite almost seven years of singing the song, the band kept the track almost identical to its studio version.

    The sold-out show drew a variety of generally older attendees: from moms drinking merlot, dads clad in leather jackets, young professionals still in work attire and students bundled up in coats.

    The crowd’s age did not stop Adams’ profanity or his not-so-private on-stage tǦte-Çÿ-tǦtes with fellow band members. His eccentric and childish personality worked in his favor, though, as his disheveled hair, wrinkled Black Sabbath shirt and dirty mouth managed to come across as charismatic and affable.

    The sold-out, two-hour set (encore included), introduced a more polished, sober Adams to Tucson, and a solid, talented band in The Cardinals. While Adams might continue to develop as an artist, this show left concertgoers with an idea as to how his newfound solidity as an artist can only improve.

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