Ryan Adams, alt-country songwriting machine and Bryan Adams-hater grew up under the influence of legendary Minneapolis band – the Replacements. He probably calls them “The Mats” and everything. Real high level stuff. So he must have been mighty bummed when Replacements lead singer Paul Westerberg said Ryan Adams “needs to have his teeth kicked in.”
That’s apt to put anyone in a cranky mood, and sure enough, when Ryan Adams took the stage that night, things almost immediately seemed kooky. The normally chuckle-worthy singer barely spoke for the first hour of the set. When he finally did, it was only to do one of three things: complain about Paul Westerberg wanting to kick his teeth in, complain about the shitty reviews his opening act received in the local press, or complain about the sound of the guitar amps. It was the latter of those three issues that finally made the fussy troubadour flee the stage.
See, instead of calling it a night at that obvious stopping point, Ryan Adams returned to the stage with an acoustic guitar in tow, and he stayed there a long fucking time. The final song count was a whopping 28, which makes for a long night even under normal circumstances.
When you add in even more chatter about Paul Westerberg and a really sad monologue about wanting to go home for Christmas, everyone but the most die-hard fans of Ryan Adams or train wrecks stayed for it all. I left almost as soon as the acoustic guitars came out.
Something about Ryan Adams and soul-crushing boredom must not mix, because his return trip to Minnesota didn’t go a whole lot better. Once again, the show was plagued with sound problems. After just 70 minutes, the cranky songbird announced he was playing one final song and then bolted. His exit was so swift that many in attendance refused to believe the show was over until the house lights came up and everyone started booing.
Legend says Ryan Adams is still haunted by the Phantom of Technical Problems to this date and is shooting a drunk kid for requesting him to play “Summer of 69” somewhere around the world.