Ryan Adams sightings in New Orleans are few and far between, so when the Orpheum show was announced, it was a nice surprise. Adams last played Net w Orleans Jazz Fest in April of 2015. Before that point, at least on record, he hadn’t played New Orleans since 2005’s House of Blues show. That may in part be due to the fact that he is constantly producing and turning out albums. To the date, he has put out fifteen albums and three albums form with his former band, Whiskeytown. This latest tour is in support of this year’s release, Prisoner. The Prisoner tour has an impressive traveling set, and if you were one of the lucky ones, you scored a replica of it with the Prisoner: End of World box set.
Apparently, Adams was recovering from some sort of illness but had he not to the audience, we would have never known. I asked a friend and Adams fanatic where this show stacked up in the lexicon of shows (well over 100) she had seen and if the show would have been any better had he not been sick, she responded, “It was near the top of all of the DRA shows I've seen. I honestly don't think it would have been better had he not been sick, which is why he is so amazing. If he hadn't told us he was ill, we never would have known. I do know that that was the best version of "My Winding Wheel" I have ever ever ever seen.”
The set was composed mostly of Adam’s two most recent offerings, Prisoner and the self-titled album her released 2014. Prisoner is on track to making my top 20 of the year. The new material works well live and seems to have picked up where the self-titled left off. In true Adams form and a signature of sorts, Adams made up a song at the end of the set. Most of the songs he does are a culmination of events surrounding the day. The same friend above was the unintended inspiration of his song, “Mr. Security Guard” that spawned from her interactions with the security staff. I'd be lying if I said I was blown away at the get go, but after the third song, maybe it was due to illness, Adams seemed to have found his stride. His version of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” still sounds amazing and I love the haunting electric guitar sounds he manages to produce while playing it. The Easy Tiger tracks were a bonus and hearing “Halloweenhead” live just made the evening even greater.