- Ryan Adams
Some may blow off the '70s-style rock on Ryan Adams's second solo LP, Gold, as derivative of everyone from Gram Parsons to Adams's biggest fan, Elton John, but you've got to give the former Whiskeytown frontman his bonafides as rock's first and only aw-shucks megalomaniac.
Prepare to see both sides of Adams's persona when he hits the Agora: Sure, he'll banter bashfully, but he digs into anthems like "New York, New York" with cowboy swagger and plays tearjerkers like "When Stars Go Blue" with a winking sensitivity, cuz he just knows the girls are swooning. Groupies must be patient, however; the famously prolific songwriter -- who's been recording and collaborating promiscuously, and who has threatened to release no fewer than three solo albums in the coming year -- usually has to be dragged off the stage at the end of the night. But he'll thank you for the encores.