Live review: Ryan Adams at Su Teatro at Denver Civic Theatre - Reverb

Live review: Ryan Adams @ Su Teatro at Denver Civic Theatre

Ryan Adams played an intimate show at Su Teatro at Denver Civic Theatre on Thursday Photo courtesy of Pax-Am Records.

Ryan Adams played an intimate show at Su Teatro at Denver Civic Theatre on Thursday Photo courtesy of Pax-Am Records.

Listening to singer-songwriter Ryan Adams uncork his vault of gems Thursday night for a last-minute solo acoustic show was like being in the dreamy fog of some sort of alt-country Shangri-La. But for the legion of fans who missed out after trying in vain to snag tickets to the sold-out concert, it must instead have felt like a cruel temptress.

It’s unfortunate too, because Adams was in rare unbridled form. Known for his oft-erratic onstage antics and sometimes misanthropic persona, the prolific showman was nothing of the sort at Denver Civic Theatre’s Su Teatro. By contrast, Adams was quirky, engaging, and perhaps most importantly, unflappable despite the over-exuberant and sometimes annoyingly restless crowd. Volleying from one vintage cut to the next, Adams gave the eager fandom his unflinching best on the opening magic of “Oh My Sweet Carolina.” From there forward, each song glistened with a mesmerizing timbre; sounding as if being played for the first time. As Adams flipped through pages of his tattered songbook, one couldn’t also help but feel as though the songs were being homecooked just for them.

Off 2005’s “Cold Roses,” perennial favorites “If I Am A Stranger” and “Let It Ride” raised the bar of expectations. Shifting to piano sporadically throughout the setlist, Adams then reworked seldom heard live takes on “New York, New York,” “Firecracker” and “Rescue Blues” — all to the awe of the listeners. The hits rolled on with “Amy,” “To Be Young,” and “Two” unfolding with crystalline precision. Oddly enough, new songs “Invisible Riverside,” “Dirty Rain” and “Lucky Now” perfectly accompanied his deep catalog as if reunited after a long vacation. But the standouts were the trademark stories of “English Girls Approximately” from 2004’s cult-treat “Love Is Hell” and “16 Days” off Whiskeytown’s “Stranger’s Almanac.”

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Kris K. Coe is a freelance writer, Denver-native, and new contributor to Reverb.

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  • SxPxDxCx

    What a great show.  I glad that I lucked out and scored a ticket.

  • mockbee

    Nice Review!!    This show was like having a private performance in my very own basement…(including with all my annoying friends constantly interupting you)… regardless, it was breath taking and so personal.  Top 5 shows I’ve been to…Ever. 

  • justafan

    definitely one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen.  Other than the “Touch, Feel, Lose” guy, the crowd seemed pretty well enamored and behaved in my opinion.  At any rate, I feel extremely fortunate to have been there.  Great review.

  • Manier71

    So I guess you guys think Ryan is offended or something by people requesting a song? What’s the world coming to if you can’t say anything to a musician onstage? It’s not like the guy was yelling “summer of 69″. Lighten up!!!

    • Ryan

      Yeah, that guy was pretty annoying…I even saw him nodding his head and moving his legs to the music…can’t believe he was actually trying to have fun at a show…that would definitely be frowned on by Ryan.  And, then there was the other jerk who had the audacity to sneeze while Ryan was tuning up…come on people, show Mr. Adams some respect!  Still can’t believe he didn’t play “Cuts Like a Knife.”   

      • Manier71

        I remember that sneezer!! Ryan had to stop tuning and “bless” him?? The nerve!!!

    • Kriskcoe

      I think my main irritation stemmed from all the movement — especially in the midst of classic songs like “New York, New York.” What a drag!  Can’t everyone just sit still for 5 mins.

      Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m enjoying the comments everyone. What an epic show…glad to share it with ya’ll.

      • Manier71

        Your review was great! I loved it when Ryan compared people yelling out tunes to the guy getting shocked in ghostbusters. Wow those new songs are fantastic. What a night

  • http://twitter.com/TheBigKlosowski Allen Klosowski

    I am so amazingly bummed I missed this show.  From the setlist it sounds like he nailed many of my favorites.

  • Sven

    Looks like someone broke out the thesaurus. Also, what do you mean “despite the over-exuberant and sometimes annoyingly restless crowd.” Um, were you at the same show I was, because that was one of the most respectful audiences I’ve ever seen

    • Kriskcoe

      You must have been sitting up front. Or maybe you typically go to Insane Clown Posse shows??? According to the thesaurus, a synonym for “restless” is fidgety. I’m not sure respect has anything to do with what I said. Regardless, thanks for reading.

  • Deepec

    I dropped everything I was doing and did everything humanly possible to get tickets for this show, including going down to the AEG office and offering to volunteer. Sept 15 was my birthday and if you can’t tell, I’m a superfan. Flying to Sacto to see him in a few weeks, but oh my gosh, I wanted to see this Denver show SO bad. So treasure it, people. Be grateful. I should have been there.