The lobby of the Performing Arts Center buzzed with a mix of young and old Ryan Adams fans last Wednesday (March 11) — all of whom were debating a variety of hot topics: the validity of the news that the singer/songwriter has married actress Mandy Moore the night before … the pertinence of his newly-released paperback collection of “poems,” titled Infinity Blues (Akashic Books) … whether he and the band would do a rendition of “New York. New York” … whether  and the band would stumbled through the entire set and act like total rock star assholes (or “rock ’n’ roll douchebags”), etc.

I caught the first half of the show and was thoroughly impressed with how gracious and positive Adams came off during the first few songs. He was surrounded by a piano, organ, three stacks of small amp cabinets, and four floor monitors at stage right. Two deep-blue neon roses hanged overhead like two big moons. Drummer Brad Pemberton’s kick and snare sounded full and crisp, and overall mix for the band was quite rich and balanced (a feat for such big room). Guitarist Neal Casal traded and shared solos and rhythm duties with Adams. While there were a few fist-raising Duane/Dickey Allmans moments, their dual rhythm work resembled the tumultuous dynamics of Keith and Ronnie on the late-’70s Stones records.

City Paper writer Stratton Lawrence caught the entire show and he had a slightly different impression of the concert by the set’s end. Look for his report in next week’s Concert Reviews section. Dig a few images here from local photographer Kaitlyn Iserman (below).

(photos by Kaitlyn Iserman)