On a rainy Monday night, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals played to a nearly full Arlington Theatre audience. Ryan Adams amazed the audience with his attitude toward his own problems and his personal thoughts. The stage complemented the already established ambience of the Arlington Theatre with a desert-at-sundown look, with silhouettes of cacti in front of a sheet with a variety of sunset colors upon it, the stage was set for Ryan Adams and the Cardinals.
Opening for Adams was a man named JJ, who was not scheduled to open. However, Adams apparently agreed to have him open only if he played covers of his songs and acts as Adams would. “Ryan is very bossy,” JJ said. “Such a prick. I hear he is good in the sack though.” JJ sat in a very comfortable setting, playing an acoustic guitar and finger picking. It was very relaxing listening to him sing, play and tell stories of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals’ love for disco parties, a theme that would continue throughout the rest of the night.
“It is a lot of fun to open for Ryan Adams, they have a bunch of disco parties,” JJ said. “Last night they were boogying down to Gloria Gaynor,” After JJ played a couple of songs and told a couple of jokes, it was time for Ryan Adams and the Cardinals.
Adams took the stage to an explosion of applause and began to play, quickly getting some of the audience members to stand up out of their seats. One attendee decided that it would be a fun idea to roll across the stage during Adams’ set. Adams, unaware of what went on, asked his band mates, “Seriously, a guy rolled? Was it cool?”
After playing “Off Broadway,” Adams explained to the audience, “Our shows take a long time because we interact. The band becomes friends and sometimes enemies with the audience.” Adams clarified that the band enjoys “big disco parties with all the girls in X-Men shirts that know all science stuff and that we can’t wait to play video games with all the hottest chicks that own comic stores,” Adams said.
Adams’ character is what made the show. He was very animated and interactive with the audience, occasionally mocking those audience members who screamed out requests. “I have a problem with authority so I am going to say no,” Adams said. The Cardinals also mocked the audience by making nonsense noises whenever an audience member vocalized a request.
Adams was unable to really get comfortable all night. He couldn’t decide whether or not to wear his plaid shirt or not. “I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m hot, I’m cold, God, just like my last relationship,” Adams said. It was not only the temperature that was giving him problems; Adams’ underwear was also bothering him. Adams, striking an interesting pose on stage, explained, “I was trying to get the underwear out of my butt,” Adams said. “Boxers and briefs should not be combined.” This was not the end of the underwear problems. Later in the night, Adams screamed out, “This underwear up my ass thing is totally fucking with me.”
Adams’ set was both entertaining and funny. His interaction with the audience and the band was sensational. He even found time to heckle his own show when one of the Cardinals stepped to the microphone to tell a joke. Adams is both an artist and an entertainer, and his performance at the Arlington was outstanding.