Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Cardinals at the Shubert Theater 2.20.9

Last Friday Isaac and I ventured to New Haven for an evening of pizza (BAR = flat, neapolitan goodness) and Ryan Adams and The Cardinals.

I'd caught The Cardinals with Sam on Halloween at The Apollo and loved the show.  The band is filled with very talented instrumentalists, who almost make their craft seem too easy, which might have led this New Haven columnist to describe it as a sense of boredom...or maybe that's why the band now does a joke of the day and entertaining musical ditties for the band introductions.

My evening was made as RA's harmonica broke into "Come Pick Me Up."  They don't play it too often anymore, so I was hoping to hear it, but not convinced that it would happen.  My other pre-show request, Everybody Knows, came early in the night...that song has stuck with me personally since I found Easy Tiger to get through a phase and it still rings true.  

The other highlight of the evening was the continued banter of the band with the crowd.  A rather large man in one of the Abe Lincoln boxes kept shouting murmurings to the band that no one could understand.  And when he wasn't shouting he was playing some air guitar and head banging...not exactly that type of show dude.  Then there was the overwhelming smell of pot or popcorn in the air that eventually had the band jokingly pull a flashlight on the main man up front.  

RA chastised a heckler after the joke of the day, when the crowd would try to edge the band into quickly launching into a song as they retuned, we were reminded that we came for a rock show, not for the dancing girls and pyrotechnics--this is a recession afterall (he loves to reference the recession as much as I do!).  Isaac mentioned that it seemed RA was having issues with his tuning/overall sound system earlier in the evening, but that didn't prepare us for what happened as they launched into La Cienega.  His tuning was way off and he stepped away from the mic, screamed a few times towards the offstage area and then came back to reassure us that he was well-adjusted.  The crowd encouraged him to keep playing and he joked about his non-craziness, asked us to step back to when he'd just finished yelling at the heckler and where we go again.  The song ended up beautifully and it made me appreciate that he takes it so seriously that he ends up in crazy outbursts, but the result is so worth it.  

The band played their long jam version of Goodnight Rose, which is what Sam and I walked into at the Apollo as we got there late.  On Halloween, I'd said that that song was worth the admission and they didn't disappoint on Friday.  

Fortunately, for my future love goals, RA seems to have found contentment with Mandy Moore, with whom he recently became engaged.  No more need for me to try to save him, which means the "Everybody Knows" guy has my full attention once again.  

Here's the set list and Come Pick Me Up...the video isn't great, but I could lay in bed for hours listening to that harmonica.

Set list
1. I See Monsters
2. Two
3. Everybody Knows
4. When the Stars Go Blue
5. Fix It
6. Let It Ride
7. Magick
8. Wonderwall
9. Come Pick Me Up
10. Grand Island (Neal Casal sings)
11. Meadowlake Street
12. Freeway to the Canyon (Neal Casal sings)
13. Oh My Sweet Carolina(Evening Joke)
14. Evergreen
15. The Rescue Blues
16. The Sun Also Sets
17. La Cienega Just Smiled
18. Natural Ghost
19. Goodnight Rose
20. Born Into a Light
(Carribean Queen...as they thought someone from the crowd might have muttered it and launched into a quick cover)21. A Kiss Before I Go
22. Easy Plateau
23. Bartering Lines

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