Ryan Adams Brings The Rock To The First Day Of The Newport Folk Fest!


by: Jay Carlson

Friday afternoon Ryan Adams stepped out on stage to close out the first day of the Newport Folk Festival. The crowd was ready for magic after a terrific afternoon that gave them great sets by Jenny Lewis and Band of Horses.

Adams didn’t disappoint, belting out a sixteen song set of classics and new material from his self-titled album coming out on September 9th. His band consisting of Charlie Stavish on Bass, Freddy Bokkenheuser on Drums, Daniel Clarke on Keyboards, Mike Viola on Guitar had only performed publicly twice before. They sounded tight and had an obvious rapport. It was tough not comparing this iteration to his last band, The Cardinals, since they were playing songs that I was accustomed to hearing from Ryan and The Cardinals. The Cardinals of 2007-2008 had hit a stride musically that most bands could only dream of attaining. They were a singular unit functioning as one rather than a collection of musicians. Beyond the comparison, Adams’ newest collection of band mates had a different dynamic, they played looser, in a good way. There was a danger, not knowing if it was all going to come together. And it did, very well. This new iteration that Adams has assembled killed it. They rocked in a way that The Cardinals jammed.

If there was one complaint it was that I wanted a longer set. This was no fault of the band, I knew going in that they wouldn’t be playing their typical 21-23 song set (nothing could compare with Somerville in 2007 where the band played three encores) since they were scheduled for an hour and fifteen minutes. They made the most of their time, mixing ten old tunes in with 4 new ones along with a tremendous cover of Danzig’s ‘Mother’.

All in all it was a killer day in Newport that was capped off by a great set by Adams and crew. I’m certainly hoping they make another run through the area so I can see an even longer show.

Take a look at the setlist below. NPR has archived the entire Adams set. Take a listen HERE.

1. Gimme Something Good
2. Magick
3. Stay With Me
4. Fix It
5. Dirty Rain
6. Let It Ride
7. Shadows
8. Sweet Carolina
9. Everybody Knows
10. Catherine
11. My Wrecking Ball
12. Peaceful Valley
13. Beautiful Sorta
14. Do I Wait
15. Mother
16. Come Pick me Up