Ryan Adams @ Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 15 Sep

Tonight's Ryan Adams show sadly feels entirely self-indulgent, making for an overall disappointingly dull show

Live Review by Nadia Younes | 19 Sep 2017
  • Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams could be accused of being known more for his controversial comments than his music, but at tonight’s show it is certainly all about the latter.

Opening tonight's show, Karen Elson is haunting and mesmerising. Dressed like a Southern States princess in a red rose-printed knee-length black dress, her voice is silky and seductive, perfectly complementing her psych-rock influenced Americana, and she steals the show before it's even really begun.

A cloud of smoke engulfs the stage before Ryan Adams comes on. It's incredibly over-dramatic, unnecessary and clichéd, but it becomes clear throughout Adams’ two-hour long set that he thinks of himself as a massive rockstar, doing massive rockstar things.

One of many cringeworthy rockstar moments involves him standing atop one of the stage monitors with a spotlight shining on him from behind to perform Broken Anyway, taken from his latest album, Prisoner. The performance consists of Adams repeating the same four words, 'It was broken anyway', for two-and-a-half minutes without leading to any climax and it sadly feels entirely self-indulgent.

The best part of the set comes when technical difficulties cause Adams to resort to an acoustic intermission while his guitar is being repaired. Performing with just his acoustic guitar and harmonica, the one-man band thing really suits him and it's testament to his dedication to his fans that he finds a way to keep the show running.

There is no doubt that Ryan Adams is a massive rockstar but watching this parody of himself play out on stage grows tiresome and inevitably makes for a disappointingly a dull show.

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