This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Everyone seemed to have the same question on their mind as they filled Red Butte on Monday night: Which Ryan Adams was going to show up? The petulant jerk who cut his set short a few years earlier because of chatter in the audience and people taking pictures? Or the good-natured, witty Adams who lit up the place in one of the best concerts the venue hosted last year?
If there was any question which one arrived, it was finally put to rest once and for all when Adams played his not-really-an-encore encore (he doesn't go through the whole charade of having to be cheered back to the stage "I normally would've left right now, but I'll just stand here.")
After tossing some T-shirts to a couple lucky fans in the audience, Adams played a little impromptu number, almost an apology for his antics form years earlier.
"I'm so glad it's not the last show, that was sh**ty, so glad the moon is out in Salt Lake City," Adams sang to hoots from the sold-out audience. "I'm wearing my Heavy Metal Shoppe T-shirt, feeling good, just another g**damn night in Salt Lake City."
Clearly he actually was talking about two shows ago, but forgive the artistic license. "The show before last" doesn't have the same ring to it. And his mea culpa was appreciated, but by the time it came at the end of the night Monday, was unnecessary, since he'd more than made amends for any past slights.
The stage was, as usual, set up with 1980s video games Asteroids and Berzerk a vintage Dr Pepper machine and gigantic amplifiers as Adams, who indeed was rocking his Heavy Metal Shoppe shirt and a haircut that looks like an unkempt fern, tore through a rock-solid set, opening with "Trouble" and "Gimme Something Good," both from his self-titled 2014 album, before diving into fan favorites "New York, New York," "When The Stars Go Blue," "Let it Ride," and "I Got High."
His hits kept coming, hitting almost all the highest points in his vast catalogue, and was completely unfazed by what he characterized a "huge booger" in his nose that he said ended up in the plants in front of the stage.
Midway in the set, he joked, "We're thinking about getting into music; we're thinking about going pro," before the band tore into a dynamite version of "Everything Changes." Through the rest of the night, he channeled Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Dio, prompting my buddy Ezra to lean in and inquire when he'd write a Beach Boys record.
Personally, the highlight came when he was joined by Amanda Shires, the opener for the evening, to do a moving version of his haunting song, "Sweet Carolina," closing out with "This House Is Not For Sale" and his acoustic cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall."
He opened up his fake encore, of course, with his apology "Another Beautiful Goddamn Night in Salt Lake City," and wrapped up with "Come Pick Me Up."
Safe to say, based on the audience reaction, bygones are bygones and no more apologies are needed. But you can still play the song, because it's hilarious.