So, hot Georgia damn, this is where we’ll begin.
As it turns out, we only saw (sighted) Ryan on the night of the Cardinals last show. And oh what a night it was, even without an encore (though an encore isn’t needed when the band plays a two and a half hour set, contrary to what some haters, or most Ryan-reviewers, have said). Anyway, prior to arriving in Atlanta we were somewhat concerned with all that bad-buzz surrounding Ryan and his last show—buzz about King H-head failing to finish sets due to inappropriate audience behavior or, worse, buzz about him reacting to that inappropriate audience behavior, but we tried to keep the faith and were rewarded with not only a good audience, but a good Ryan, of course (because there is no such thing as a bad Ryan).
There was no mention of a last show, yet “the end” was in the air that night—at least for the Cardinals, as days later Ryan tweeted that he would be performing with “friends” other than his bandmates sometime in the near future (the whole scenario was pretty vague, but hopeful nonetheless). Still, the night of the Mother Fuckin’ Cardinals (MFCs)last show, there was a joke about the music business being synonymous with “crap” and plenty of goodbye songs, or, more specifically, goodbye-oriented lyrics.
In fact, Ryan probably said goodbye with every song…there was “Goodnight Rose,” (the show-closer or ending, and, therefore, definitive, goodbye song) featuring the lines “there’s so much nobody understands/don’t live your life in such a hurry/life goes by us all so fast/and the sun will come up again/and I will be here;” “Let it Ride,” featuring the line “let it ride, let it roll, let it go;” “Please Do Not Let me Go,” which we think is self-explanatory; “Oh My Sweet Carolina,” featuring the line “what compels me to go?/oh my sweet disposition/may you one day carry me home;” and all three of the most-shouted for songs at Ryan shows (usually this shouting is done by those rubberneckers, Cardinal speak for rowdy, annoying fans): “Wonderwall,” “Come Pick me Up,” and “When the Stars go Blue.”
All-in-all, the best things that two gals could hope for at a Ryan show transpired: it was a whirlwind of picture-snapping (just how many blurry, bluish photos of Ryan and the MFCs, do we need, by the way?), stage-light dancing, even though we had clearly-marked fourth-row seats, and sing-screaming to Ryan lyrics and banter. And, just like a whirlwind, it (the last Ryan show) left the building as quickly as it came—some of the details are still, to this day, almost four months later, a tad shaky.