Producers Garden, Sat 27 Feb
On a beautiful evening in a beer garden in Adelaide, a man from Kentucky and his guitar entertained his audience with his stories and songs of past drunken antics and questionable decisions.
In Beers About Songs, songwriter Ryan Adam Wells is a master storyteller, seamlessly weaving stories about love and loss with his relationship to beer, spanning across the United States from Indiana to Texas. His use of flashback in his stories is particularly effective, keeping you on the edge of your seat the whole way through the show. His observations set the scene, and the way he describes his past antics make you feel as if you were right there with him.
Wells performs original songs, blending the lyrics with his monologues, sometimes interchangeably so you don’t know when story ends and song begins. His chords on the guitar would echo the tone of the story, and his strong guitar playing enhanced the story and his message. Instead of just being a performance, it was more like exchanging stories with an old friend over a few drinks, which I think is what Wells is aiming for. His asides to the audience, explaining how bars in America work (one-dollar Wells!), made it feel as if he was talking straight to you, and his self-deprecating humour made you laugh along with him.
Overall, I think what made his performance so effective was that it was clearly a personal experience that he told with honesty, and it was about a subject (love and loss) that we could all relate to. It became a cathartic experience not just for Wells, but for the audience as well. Take a few friends with you to the Producers Garden, raise a glass to the other beer drinkers out there, and hear some stories from an old friend-you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll have a few laughs along the way.
Beers About Songs continues at The Producers Garden from 6.15pm until Sun 13 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.