Ryan Adams Explains Concerts’ No-Flash Policy, Calls Out Stereogum On Twitter
At a recent gig at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pa., during ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina,’ Ryan Adams stopped mid-song to call out a fan who failed to keep her camera's flash off -- even with signs all over the venue asking for no flash photography.
“I have f--king Ménière's disease. Can you stop? Can you just stop in the front row with your flashes," he asked the concertgoer. "I’m sorry, I have a disability called Ménière's disease, and you flashing with your camera, I get so dizzy I want to throw up. I can barely stand up.”
Stereogum was the first to report this, saying Adams "berated" the fan. If you watch the video above (the "incident" occurs around the 2:43 mark), it's obvious Adams is understandably frustrated, but he hardly berates anyone in the audience. Adams and his fans are, justifiably, not happy:
And as many more pointed out, Adams made an effort to apologize and explain the situation in more detail at the end of the concert:
Adams’ history with Ménière's disease is no secret. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that he took a significant break from his music because of its seriousness.
In a recent interview with Stereogum, Adams explained, “[The disease] really opened my eyes ... the first thing they tell you is it’s degenerative, you could lose your hearing. It could get worse. You have to change everything about your life.”
He also detailed that even though he’s overcome the issue and is now able to make music and tour, he’s still prone to bouts of the disease. “You have to get the f--k away from flashing lights. It somehow sets me off ... I’m a little more chilled out when I play onstage these days, but that’s because they’re not shining lights in my face.”
BuzzFeed also laid out the situation in great detail in their recent in-depth feature on Adams:
He sought treatment for his Ménière’s, working with a hypnotherapist to reduce the panic attacks. He started eating better and working out. “I hiked and got a dog, I adopted cats and wrote songs,” he says. “And I slept. I slept like I never had. I totally crashed in this beautiful way. I let go of all the false ideas of my late twenties and early thirties, this construct of who I was and how I thought I should be. That struggle was over.”
We here at Diffuser are gearing up for a full weekend of shows with Adams at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom (Nov. 22-23). We're beyond excited to see him and the Shining rock new and old tunes from throughout his career -- and we will make sure our flashes are turned off on our cameras.
After this weekend’s stint in New York, Adams continues his tour throughout the south and west coast -- and then hops the pond for a run in Europe in 2015. Get his full tour itinerary here.
And as you wait for Adams and company to come through your hometown, check out a couple more performances from his concert at the Upper Theater, including his encore of 'Come Pick Me Up' with Butch Walker: