The best thing about last night? Ryan’s voice after about the third song. Before that point it was the same voice I heard on Rock Star – but a few songs in, he got looser and fuller and the way he played with the tempo felt less studied and more inspired. We got to see a lot of him this summer, but it was all one song at a time – there’s just something about seeing a full set – the minutes just add up to something entirely different – and great!
So Ryan comes out and the start is fairly low key, and he does the first three or so songs with the keys, then he gets his guitar and that’s when the show got good as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s great how Ryan can fill the stage all by himself, and create a sound that *sounds* bigger than just one guy onstage with one instrument – but if it is only one instrument I’m always going to prefer guitar to keyboards! But my big wish would be to see him with a full band – one of his friends kept pimping the big show in NYC – the homecoming show – and if there’s going to be a full band there it might be worth flying for!
There were times when Ryan would use his feet to pound the floor – an improvised drum! I loved that! Another time he forgot he was tethered to the mic stand and he came out in front and then had to sing doubly loud to make up for it – but he went for it!
As for the songs – I loved them. He played a new song “11:59” and the lyrics go over familiar ground – but Ryan’s spin on a familiar theme is so devoid of cliché, you really believe him. I think he’s gifted lyrically – but it’s the music itself that really gets me. (But I want to hear it with a full band… I know, be happy with what you get, but I really really want to hear it with a full band!)
After the show we went to Stingaree, a nightclub a few blocks away from the HOB – one of Ryan’s friends was a regular on ROCKBAND.COM during Rock Star, and so invited us to join them. It’s an interesting club with a great rooftop bar, but unfortunately it was raining hard, we didn’t spend much time up there – but I would like to go back on a clear night!
At one point I made a comment to Ryan about “shooting him” the next time he’s in San Diego or Southern California, and he nodded affirmatively, then he leaned in and half-whispered, “Don’t you mean shoe me?” – which make me laugh. It’s a running joke on ROCKBAND.COM that Ryan has big feet, and well, you know what that means. It totally cracked me up that he not only knew all about it, but he was also okay with it and saw the humor in it. ‘Cause every reference is always made with much affection, I’m sure!
For more reviews of Ryan Star in San Diego, go to:
Or go to the ROCKBAND.COM Ryan Star Lounge!