Ryan Adams: Definitely, not maybe, Glasgow's baby tonight

Ryan Adams: The angst of a Firecracker
Ryan Adams: The angst of a Firecracker

With sorrow and quirky satire intertwined for two hours, Glasgow's Royal Concert hall clung on to his every word, as he delved from heartbreak to holograms, true love to "a guy that  just wants to go out and touch some boobs". Ryan Adams had the venue laughing so hard that they cried, and at least had something to blame the tears on, which were induced by his melancholy tales.

Easing into the hush of the venue under dim light, the extremely successful singer-songwriter bled into the expectant silence with Oh My Sweet Carolina, from early album Heartbreaker. Featuring Emmylou Harris on the record, but performed alone, the silence only solidified the loneliness of the track, with the audience upright in their seats,  the fear that even blinking may cause enough noise to disturb the set.

Ashes & Fire from his most recent album of the same name, provided a lift, gaining volume with bluesy acoustic guitar. Using dynamic fully in his work, If I Am A Stranger, retreated back into timid volume, but with enough gain on the chorus to allow a few stifled coughs that  fans had clearly been holding in, for fear of disrupting the intense the show.

The audience finally settled into My Winding Wheel, accompanying the alt country star on the vocal, a polite backing band in the impressive venue that housed Adams, a solitary figure seated in the centre of the stage. Moving over to a piano in the corner, the start of his underlying comedy sketch began as he mocked his own misery and despair before The Rescue Blues. With his free running vocal filling the grand hall, it was the breaks and trials of high-pitching that gave character and emotion to the performance.

Fidgeting his way around the stage, he adopted a new standing position for a few tracks, which he titled himself as, "Miserable bastard position two". As he played through different scenarios on stage, getting more further removed from his serious side, his light-hearted and slightly off-the-wall comedy had everyone laughing along, allowing Adams to spring favourite tracks upon the crowd when they least expected it, his long recording career housing a magnitude of favourites.

The harmonica introduction of Firecracker was one of these moments, probably his jolliest offering of the night, even engaging the audience in a subtle head bob. It turned out this lift in the set was merely a leap into a deeper plunge of depression, for Sweet Lil' Gal. With minimal backing from the piano, Adam's vocal told the story, characteristic cracks amplified in the hush, which seemed all the more quieter now that it was sandwiched between the unhinged laughter of the sold-out crowd.

Awkwardly moving back to his standing position, the somewhat dyspraxic star, with a flourish of OCD thrown in for the mix, has a certain jubilance in his work. Perhaps due to the wit that it is often packaged up in, English Girls Approximately had the crowd fully involved on backing vocal duty once again. Come Pick Me Up, with enough ad-libbing to mock one of his tour mates at the side of the stage, had enough of a split personality to end the show on the most euphoric of depressions.

With a standing ovation from all three tiers, leading to a cover of Ratt's Round And Round, tonight Ryan Adams delivered pretty much the happiest sort of misery there is.

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