So it was rumored on Brooklyn Vegan, the secret Ryan Adams show DID happen around 4:30pm at Cafe Select on Lafayette Street. It was webcast live in the Cardinal Cave, although judging from what could be seen on-site, the laptop that was streaming the show kept crashing and the broadcast probably cut in and out.
The site of the stripped down show was a mid-sized snack/coffee shop, with perhaps no more than 100 people sitting down in the space. Chairs were brought out in the walk-through aisle so people in the front could sit down and folks in the back could see.
Ryan strolled in after 4 wearing a blue windbreaker, a rock t, jeans, dark rimmed glasses, rainbow colored socks, and his signature brown hair all in a tizzy. He and his band strummed out a number of tunes off the new album including “Evergreen” and “Fix It.”
Video of banter and “Fix It” (sorry it’s so dark… there wasn’t a lot of light there):
Requests were made for some older tunes, including an emphatic request from a man in the front for “Cherry Lane.” Ryan joked that he didn’t know that song, and he didn’t like to play it because of what it was about, to which the man responded, “I understand,” which made Ryan and the band laugh. Ryan started to strum the song, and played it all the way through.
At the end of the number Ryan explained to the guy who requested it what the song was about–Cherry Lane Theater in the West Village. Ryan told the audience how he was drunk and probably on illegal narcotics at the time, bored and needing inspiration for things to write about for a song. He stumbled upon the Cherry Lane Theater and caught a show by Kiki and Herb. He wanted to pay homage to the great show, so he wrote a song using the theater’s name… “the rest of the song” Ryan said, “is about girls.”
Ryan sprinkled the set with jokes about the location of their unconventional gig–apologizing for disturbing people’s late lunch. He then asked the audience members to raise their hand if they had just came to eat lunch. No one did, until a guy in the front feigned being upset, claiming they had ruined his meal–to which Ryan joked back, “Oh, the guy taking pictures was just here to eat lunch!”
He chatted with a girl up front about her shoelace-free Chuck Taylor style sneakers. “They save time,” she responded. Then Ryan inquired about whether or not she’d sewed them (she didn’t, they came like that). He swigged from a huge bottle of Pellegrino, and made jokes about the food menu above his head, “There’s something wrong with their potatoes–they’re leeking.”
After the eight song set, Ryan was immediately surrounded by enthusiastic fans, with one guy rushing over to ask Adam to call up his boss and explain why he wasn’t at work. Ryan instantly agreed, and made up reasons why the young man had to skip work, “I just ran into him on the street and made him come help me with a show I’m doing…I needed him to remind me what songs to play…” he ad libbed.
What a lovely way to spend a Tuesday!
Born Into A Light
If I Am A Stranger
Let Us Down Easy