Ryan Star had a mini-concert at the Anaheim House of Blues Sunday night. He is touring the West Coast with Cheyenne Kimball, and I had the great fortune of seeing just his second show since Rock Star: Supernova ended.
This is the Ryan I have been dying to see. The man was in his element - just him on stage, a guitar and a piano. Singing his original material. (Not that I wouldn't kill to see him on stage with a full band singing his original material. That may just slay me.) From what I understand, he's not big on doing covers in shows. When he does, he usually doesn't do them at full length. On Sunday, he gave us about a minute of "Enjoy the Silence" and the Rock Star-length "Losing My Religion". Everything else was all 100% Ryan Star, including a brand-new, just written song called "11:59". It's f-in' fantastic.
Ryan opened with "We Might Fall", which sounded BEAUTIFUL. Next, he tried to get the crowd to snap along to "Famous Love", but he had to stop pretty quickly because we weren't getting the beat right and the tempo he led us to was too fast. Heh. Seriously, trying to get people to clap on the beat is hard enough, let alone snap fingers to it. The first Rock Star: Supernova episode this season ... I was standing behind some really tall dude who could not clap in rhythm. It was awful. Anyway ... Ryan then launched into the snippet of "Enjoy the Silence", then I think "Back Of Your Car"/"Take A Ride With Me". He introduced "O" by saying it was one of his "angry" songs. And he censored himself in the song. No f-bomb. Bah. Blasted tweens in the audience!
I think "Famous Yet" was after this. He asked for volunteers to play with him and got plenty. Then he said "OK, who doesn't want to play", and this chick in front of me raised her hand, and he saw her and said something. Ha! He ended up bringing up a tween who was celebrating her 13th (?) birthday. I'm pretty sure she was there to see Cheyenne. Anyway, she played the tambourine for the song, and he was really cute with her, even though there were points where she looked completely terrified to be up there. I guess he was smart to bring up a tween instead of an adult. For one, he may have converted her into a new fan. Second of all, an adult might have tried to pull a Jill Gioia on him, turning him into her Gilby Clarke.
Then, we were really in for a treat. He sang the new song, "11:59", on guitar. It's a love song. I can totally hear it on the radio. It has a bit of a Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse type of feel.
The lyrics to the chorus are:
Please don't leave
This could be the best time of our lives tonight
You and me
Don't let the moment pass by
Put the windows down and drive
Anyway, loved the song. And then he went back to the piano to do "Sink Or Swim". I was eagerly anticipating this because I have heard that Ryan has been known to segue into other random songs during this tune, 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" amongst them. Unfortunately, no Fiddy, but we got "Losing My Religion" instead, which made me squee just a little bit. Ok. A lot.
Unfortunately, he wrapped up his set with "So Ordinary" and that was that. While the show was longer than I had expected for an opening act, it was still too short. But I think 3 hours would have been too short for me.
Ryan said he'd be meeting people at the merch table after the show, so about half the room high-tailed it out of there to meet him. Cheyenne who? The line was fairly long, so I hung back till it started to dwindle. When I got up there, I shook Ryan's hand, introduced myself and asked if I could get a picture taken with him (BTW, I love my bf. He was so patient. Took the picture, stood in line with me, stood back as I made googly-eyes at Ryan, endured the teeny-boppers squealing during the show. And he didn't make fun of me for it. He's the best.). I told Ryan I loved his new song, asked him when he wrote it (last week!) and chit-chatted a little bit more. He is very easy to talk to. I asked him he was going to release anymore older stuff (not yet ... no time!) and told him I had pretty much bought everything he's put out. And then he said "come here, give me a hug" (squee!!) and thanked me for the support. So after all that, I almost fell down the stairs leaving the venue. Haha!
Tuesday night ... House of Blues, Sunset Strip. I will be there. I want some "Candy Shop". Or at least some "Losing Your Memory"! Oh - this is how good the show was. It was so good that I didn't even realize until hours later that I didn't get to hear my favorite Ryan Star song live. Gah! Hopefully next time.