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May 20, 2007

Ryan Adams lame in Louisville

Singer/songwriter Ryan Adams headlined a Louisville showcase Saturday night and really let down the crowd.

I saw Adams last year at Sonar, not too long after he released 29. He was energetic on stage and had a talented backup band. The band was still tight at last night's show, but Adams' erratic behavior made for a boring performance. I'll explain in a minute.

Following a warm, solid performance by Suzanne Vega, Adams came out about 11:05 p.m. The lights started out low and never came up. The whole stage stayed cloaked in hues of dark blue and red. You could barely see Adams or the other band members.

Adams hid himself even further. Wearing sunglasses, a hat and a hoodie, he was totally camouflaged. He hunched over a mike and -- get this -- read lyrics from a binder in front of him. Dude can't even remember the words to his own set of new songs!

So I sat there, in the dark, listening to melancholy folk music from musicians I could barely see. I almost fell asleep.

After only 30 minutes, Adams shouted a quick "thank you," -- the first thing he'd said to the crowd the whole night -- and bolted. There was no encore. His set lasted until 11:35 p.m. It was supposed to go until midnight.

I would have rather sat at home and listened to the CD. It's good, and I suggest you buy it. But I'm not so sure about seeing him live this tour. 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:22 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Non-Commvention


Sounds like that might actually have been worse than his show at the Meyerhoff a couple of years ago. I think Adams likes to play the poor tortured genius, but he should try just acting like a professional.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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