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On the Scene: Ryan Adams & the Cardinals/Norah Jones

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95539__norahryan_lThe words “Ryan Adams” and “antics” should go hand in hand. And why would you want it any other way? At the second of three sold-out shows at Manhattan’s Town Hall last night, the 32-year-old was in a glam rock mood. He emerged with a Flinstonian Bamm-Bamm hairdo, and jeans tucked into black vinyl  knee-high platform boots that must’ve added six inches to his reported 5-foot 8-inch frame. You weren’t sure whether he was joking or not until he later cracked that he feels “really uncomfortable in his clothes. I should’ve worn another shirt.” As for the music,  the theme wasn’t far from his dress. Says a fan who’s been following the Jacksonville, N.C., native since his Whiskeytown days: “He definitely brought the rock. But aside from a lot of guitar, I wanted to hear more of his other instrument: his voice. Only on the slow, sweet, mellow songs did that come out fully in all its aching glory. I wanted to hear more of that.”

After a strange break in the middle of the set — I guess there are rules when you’re playing in a Broadway theater house, eh? — Norah Jones came out to sing “Dear John,” a duet off of Adams’ Jacksonville City Nights album. Jones was the surprise opening act (it was Sean Lennon the night before), performing Hank Williams and Kris Kristofferson songs with the Little Willies. At one point, a fan yelled out a request, “Dixie Chicken,” to which Jones replied, “Did you just call me a Dixie Chick?” It’s lovely to see Jones back in the spotlight; look out for her new album Not Too Late in January.

addCredit(“Norah Jones: John Shearer/WireImage.com; Ryan Adams: Stephen Lovekin/WireImage.com”)

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