Hope this time what I write doesn’t end erased. I’ve been telling my story for 10 minutes and all of a sudden everything has gone to hell for no reason. I haven’t got used to modern technologies applied to mobiles yet, kinda pissed off right now.
Anyway, again, I’m having my second coffee in a sidewalk café outdoors, enjoying sun, which unfortunately took the day off yesterday, allowing Londrino weather, as locals here call this horrible smooth but constant leaking rain, be the main protagonist here in Oporto.
Sorry to disappoint some of you, I missed the chance to get a picture with Ryan Adams just for few seconds, although, cross my heart it’s true, we eye-contacted, enough for me, yet probably a scary experience for the artist, seeing a girl with a red umbrella with teddy bears smiling widely at him. Yeah, I was shocked and so excited and amazed to see him so close, I probably looked like an idiot…he looked goooorgeous though, with his usual messy and dirty hair, in a leather jacket.
After these seconds of mayhem under the rain, we met two guys in the very same state, so we kept on living our experience together. David from Madrid, was the luckiest one, we got a picture with Adams and Malin, and his CD books were signed. John, an English in his mid 40’s, a mixture of Midnight Cowboy John Voight meets Crocodile Dundee, We had seen him earlier at the airport queueing right behind us and, although Veronica didn’t believe it, I was positive his purpose in Oporto was the same as ours. Apart from Adams, he was the most looking guy at the venue…hahaha!
Anyway, we’ll try to stay in touch via mail, in order to share musical wisdom and update on gigs and that kind of stuff. There was good vibe among us without forcing the situation.
Apart from the eye contact incidence, you can imagine the level of excitement of 4 diehard fans about to see one of their idols. We weren’t the only ones to move our asses to Oporto to see him. We met many people (you know how this goes, people from overseas are more outgoing and are willing to talk to anyone… I include myself too), a couple from Australia planned their holidays to Europe schedules based on that particular show, 3 Irish guys had seen him in Dublin already, 2 others the night before in Lisbon…
Doors finally opened at quarter past eight, and as the seats at the theatre weren’t assigned, we had to queue. We found seats on second row, next to the only people I didn’t feel like being close seated to…some of you might have guessed immediately. Anyway, we were ready to start the night with Jesse Malin.
I had seen Malin with band in November and loved the show. He was in a more rockin’ attitude, and songs sounded terrific. Few months ago, D-Generation reunion dates were confirmed, and the band will be headlining Turborock festival in September. I told you about this already.
Jesse did a great show last night, with long introductions to songs, in a stand-up comedy style I particularly enjoyed, getting this close to the audience state. His repertoire included songs of many of his albums, Broken Radio, In the Modern World or Going Out West, Dowliner were present… I think he played most of The Fine Art of Self Destruction, among other reasons, mainly because of this special vinyl edition and also due to Ryan Adams’ involvement as the producer. Loved when he played his cover of Hold Steady, You Can Make Them Like You. With Malin, the stupid theory affirming acoustic sets are a compilation of slow tempo and deppresive tunes, definitely was disarmed. It was a pity we had to remain on our seats… I was clapping, stomping and headbangin’. I had bought Ryan Adams’ 7″ before the Moltisanti of Rock’s show, and kept thinking I needed the first one in vinyl, which was included in his merchandise. After the show, went straight for a beer, then to the merch stand convinced on buying it and… Jessie suddenly was by my side and as per my request he was giving me the album himself, asking for a pen for signing, and eventually as per someone’s suggestion, posing with the album and me for a picture. We had a quick chat, and when I said I’ll be seeing him in September, he replied quite enthusiastically “Oh great! Turborock!” . He was very nice.
After this, a beer, a quick smoke and a visit to the loo, we were there, hysteric, trying to calm down, waiting to the best part of the night.
Lights down and there he was, carrying a huge folder with all his songs, with no apparent setlist prepared, although he’s been concentrated on certain songs varying list slightly. Sweet Carolina was the chosen one to open the night. Huge ovation, you could feel everyone at the venue was in Heaven.
He didn’t say much for the first three songs, so we thought he wasn’t very talkative, it all depends on the mood he is in, something unpredictable and threatening.
Nevertheless, once he opened his mouth for talking, he didn’t stop. Away from Malin’s style, he whispered (OMG), kept on telling jokes, made fun of the audience, of himself, telling about the issues with his harmonica he had to face the previous night in Lisbon which really affected him right in the first song…and he blew his nose, telling and singing about Mr. Bugger. Honestly, I laughed a lot, not because it was Adams’, definitely Yankees know what entertainment is about.
Ryan Adams has had a lot of meaning to me, if he knew how much I’ve been feeling identified with his songs he’d be amazed. I’m speaking for myself, of course, I met a bunch of people yesterday in same situation. My point is, thinking first that music is my greatest passion, Adams’ stuff has helped me a lot to overcome certain situations, and to describe the way I felt then.
I think Veronica started crying right at the first song, she’d never seen him before and was like in shock, he was so close to us, so real and human…I did cry too, there’s no reason to deny something I knew it was going to happen at some point that night. Probably MY moments were when he played Everybody Knows, Carolina Rain, If I Am A Stranger and Two. By the time he was closing the show with Blue Hotel, I think I was even sobbing…
Lights were on, and we were hugging each other, we were so merry for what we had just witnessed, it was a great great great show, for real.
At the end the gigs, most people always comment subjectively on what songs were missing. Well, if he had to play what we all wanted, we’d still be there…so many beautiful songs, and probably hundreds of others still remaining in the cabinet…
Sometimes I think to be less innocent than the rest of people. After the show Malin went to the merch stand again, and everyone thought Ryan was about to do the same, but me. I thought this was a trick for leaving the venue unnoticed. He’s a freak guy, gotta say. Gets really nervous when fans are around, and always tries to get the hell out of any venue. This time wasn’t an exception, thus we were waiting for nothing, but had a great time anyway, everybody excited commenting…went to bed at 3 AM. Our hotel, just by chance I swear, was right in front of the Theater.
So here I am now, back in town (didn’t have enough time to finish this post at the Café, sorry, still in bliss, while listening Malin’s record, and recalling all the memories from last Friday, a day I won’t forget ever. It was magic. And you know, he’ll never come back to Spain, so, when in a year and a half or two (according to my personal estimations), he tours back in Europe, give me a call…I will go anywhere to see him, and pawn whatever if necessary. Ryan Adams is worth it.
By the way, here is the setlist which took me to Heaven
- Sweet Carolina
- Dirty Rain
- Off Broadway
- Everybody Knows
- Let It Ride
- Sylvia Plath
- Please Do Not Let Me Go
- Carolina Rain
- If I Am A Stranger
- Mr. Booger Improvised song
- Damn, Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains)
- Sweet Illusions
- New York, New York (Piano version)
- Dancing With The Women At The Bar
- THE ENCORE Jesus/Cougar Improvised song