Wednesday, February 1st
Ryan Adams at the Music Hall in KC
Some people hate him for his rock star antics. Some people love him for those same antics. Most everyone though, recognizes the talent that Ryan Adams has displayed over his 20 year career, spotty as it may be at times.
His best album is still the first solo record he released, 2000’s Heartbreaker, which is a classic disc that has and will stand the test of time. He followed that with a bunch of hits and misses, forays into the hard rock genre, country records, and breezy pop. But his latest effort, Ashes & Fire, gets back to what he does best and most closely resembles the styling of Heartbreaker. While it’s not quite the revelation that his first release was, it contains some solid songs and showcases Adams’ fragile and emotional voice that continues to be his strongest suit.
He’s playing this tour solo, just him and an acoustic guitar, maybe a piano, probably a harmonica. If you’re lucky he might even tell some rambling, semi-coherent stories and try out a few jokes. But it likely won’t be a shit show like some of his concerts over the years. It’s harder to be a total mess when there’s no backing band to bail you out.
Old 97’s at the Bottleneck in Lawrence
On this night, I imagine some fans will be forced to choose between Ryan Adams and Old 97’s, whose paths have crossed numerous times over the years. Which brings us to the age old question: Who would win in a fight, Rhett Miller or Ryan Adams?
The Old 97’s are a Texas alt-country quartet that’s been in the KC area a bunch over the last year or so, playing at the ‘Neck as well as at Crossroads last year. Their LaLa show was a packed affair-I believe it sold out- and lead singer Miller sweated through his jeans, like usual.
This show will feature Miller playing a solo acoustic set before the whole band joins in on the fun. He has recently released an album of cover songs, The Interpreter: Live at Largo, that contains some of the singer’s favorite songs, including Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound, Tom Petty’s American Girl, Frank Black’s Wave of Mutilation, and Dylan’s You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. So I’d expect a fair number of those will make their way into that first set.
Thursday, February 2nd
Dr. Dog at the Granada in Lawrence
If it’s good enough for Jim James and Jeff Tweedy, it’s good enough for me.
These Philly-based psychedelic rockers have toured with the likes of Wilco and My Morning Jacket over the last few years, and they’ve also been mainstays on the summer festival circuit. The Granada is an ideal venue to see these up-and-comers who will take full advantage of the ample sound system and large room.
Their new album, Be The Void, is set to drop in a few days on February 7th, so I’d bet that they’ll be showcasing some of that material at this show. They’re set to go on Conan next week, so Team CoCo is streaming the new album all this week for free. Go here to take a listen: http://teamcoco.com/drdog
Cowboy Indian Bear, Fourth of July, & Soft Reeds at the Jackpot in Lawrence
If you haven’t seen these bands yet, that’s on you. They’re local, they’re pretty kick ass, and they are all really friendly and nice. If you were friendly and nice you’d come out and buy them a drink maybe. Or just listen. Either way.
Seriously, if you can get out on a Thursday night, this will be worth seeing. Check them out (for free!) if you don’t believe me.
Thursday, February 2nd – Saturday, February 4th
Broken Lizard at Stanford & Sons at the Legends
You probably know these guys from their movies that get recycled every month or so on Comedy Central, like Super Troopers, Beerfest, and Club Dread. Of the three, Super Troopers has far and away been their biggest hit, with over five million copies sold on DVD.
But Broken Lizard actually was first formed as a live, improvisational comedy troop at Colgate University in the 90s. Two of its five members are taking the stage all weekend at Glazer’s place, Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme. Heffernan played Farva, the clueless douche cop from Troopers, Lemme played the crazy cop that led his fellow officers on a wild goose chase in the opening scene (“You boys like Mex-ee-cooo?!!!”).
I’m not really sure what to expect from this duo, but the Lizard boys are pretty big-time to be playing a room like Stanford’s. Word is all their shows will sell out, if they haven’t already, so snag your tickets now if you want in.