After three long years (it seems like longer), I finally saw Ryan Bingham in concert last night at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. It was well worth the wait – definitely one of the best shows I have ever been to. I have wanted to see Ryan Bingham, since I saw him and his oscar winning song The Weary Kind in the wonderful movie Crazy Heart.
Still excited from the day before when Ryan Bingham favorited my tweet “@RamsHeadLive SO excited for @ryanbingham tomorrow!!!”, I left my house an hour before the show started, so I could be one of the first people in line. I arrived at Rams Head about five minutes before the doors were to open. There were about 10 people in line, but oddly none of them went to the stage when the doors opened. I secured my spot front and center on the rail. By 7:30, there still weren’t many people there. The upstairs was closed off because they didn’t sell enough tickets. The previous night Ryan sold out the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. The Americans took the stage at 8pm and played for about 45 minutes. They were great. They were all in white tee shirts and rolled up jeans and slicked back hair – very 1950s.
By the time Ryan Bingham took the stage at 9:15, Rams Head Live had sort of filled up. It certainly wasn’t sold out, but the fans who were there were true music fans – true Ryan Bingham fans. Ryan walked out onto the stage in this purple-ish 1920s style shirt, suspenders, torn jeans and converse sneakers. He said he wore purple in honor of the Ravens. Ryan’s voice was even better live than on his cds – raspy and strong. Ryan played the guitar and harmonica. His new band (he is no longer with the Dead Horses) was great, especially the drummer. There was a girl bassist, which is unusual, and a fantastic guitar player. Just simple, real, rock n roll music. Yes, rock n roll. Ryan Bingham’s new album Tomorrowland is more rock n roll than country. He played my favorite new song Guess Who’s Knockin’ and it was even better than the cd – totally rocked! Ryan adjusted the lyrics when he saw the two young kids in the front row. He commented that they were the ‘coolest kids’ who had the ‘coolest parents.’ Later on Ryan signed an autograph for that 13 year old, again commenting how cool he was. Ryan introduced I Heard Em Say telling the story about how he wrote it in Memphis after visiting the National Civil Rights Museum. I wanted to shout out, “I used to work there!” but I resisted. While on stage by himself during the encore, a fan shouted out for Ryan to play Don’t Wait for Me, but Ryan said he didn’t know if he could remember it and could he have a raincheck. The crowd screamed NO, so Ryan played it – and it was wonderful! The Weary Kind was not played, but I was told by fans later that he rarely plays it. It was a fantastic show that lasted almost two hours. (Ryan Bingham played as long as U2 and he only has a few albums – just sayin) Ryan and his band played for one hour and 15 minutes, then Ryan played on stage by himself for 15 minutes, then he and the band played for 15 more minutes. The show was over way too soon at 11pm. It was truly one of the best shows I have ever seen. I immediately tweeted, “@RyanBingham just played an amazing show @RamsHeadLive” Before I got home, Ryan Bingham had favorited my tweet!
To see all my pictures of Ryan Bingham in Baltimore, please click here.
11 years on June 22nd I was in New Jersey at the last concert of the first leg of U2‘s Elevation tour. 1 year ago on June 22nd I was in Baltimore for U2′s loudest show on the 360 tour. This year on June 22 I was again in Baltimore, but this time to see Lucero – finally! Lucero is this great band from Memphis that I never saw while I lived there for 3 years – I kept missing them even though they played just a few minutes from my house. Lucero was definitely worth the wait. It was a great show!
I arrived at Rams Head Live in Baltimore just as the doors opened on June 22nd for Lucero. To my surprise, there was no one waiting in line to get it and the place was empty. I bought a Lucero hat and just hung out near the bar as the place filled up. Then Ben Nichols, Lucero’s lead singer, just starts walking through Rams Head, but no one really noticed him. He hung out at the merchandise window for a while and then walked all around. At 9pm Bosley took the stage. I always dread opening bands, but these guys surprised me – they were great. It was as if they just stepped out of the 1960s soul scene. So much energy and so entertaining! I will definitely be seeing them again, which will be easy because they’re from Baltimore.
While the techs were setting up the stage for Lucero, one of them noticed my ’38104′ tee shirt and gave me a fist bump telling me “cool shirt!” 38104 is the zip code for Midtown Memphis, where I used to live. Lucero took the stage around 10:15pm. I was right in front of Ben Nichols. My neck hurt from looking up. About 45 minutes into the set, these two annoying drunks girls came up behind me and were dancing and falling into me, so I decided to move back and to the side. This actually worked out for the best because I could take video – plus it was much more comfy and cooler.
Lucero played a great show. I am really happy I finally got to see them. Looking forward to the next time they play Baltimore.