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Ryan Adams & The Sweetheart Revolution
12.07.01 Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theater

I don't know how much more I could take. What's happening here? A good songwriter and musician, sure of his ability to become a solo act, puts out a few albums which attract critical respect and some commercial attention. Then what happens?

"I make more money in two days than you do in a year."-RA to heckler in Madison audience, 12/7/01

I was beyond excited for this show, having been a longtime WT fan. But after it, I was disappointed and embarrassed for someone who I thought was a compelling musician with a solid future. He got up on the stage, mentioned how wasted he was, insisted on wearing awool scarf and hat, and despite his obvious (from my view, in the makeshift third row of standing fans) sweating, only briefly took them off (concerned with the image? Your call). I know a lot of those who wen tto this show were excited by the almost three hour-length set, but for him to wander off into drunken and unskillfully played guitar solos (and re-play multiple songs from the set in different (?)mediums during the encore) was tedious. The only time the audience really seemed into the show was when he played "NY, NY" and covered the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" (considering his recent successes, it doesn't really surprise that the audience wasn't yelling out to hear "Lo-Fi Tennessee Mountain Angel").

"Tell me you like living with your parents?"-RA to an audience heckler

Maybe some people think he's charmingly comical by his quick ability to reply to audience hecklers, and in the past I've seen evidence that proves it, but Ryan was WAY too defensive and angry in his replies. Yeah, he did offer a semi-apology halfway through the set, but every comment he made beyond that (dissing the Strokes, Winona, more estimations of the audience heckler's IQ, something about new music being "a bunch of kids from Massachusetts but pretending to be from North Carolina staring at their shoes" ) didn't change the tone of the show. I really like Ryan Adams' music and look forward to hearing more. From his interviews, he seems to be eager to keep going with this gig. But his image campaign as the "drunken troubadour"--a hot, new and monumental rock genius--and not the quality of his music seems to be for