Ryan Adams proved Sunday night that, although he’s better than most at writing bruising love songs, he’s got a blistering rock ‘n’ roll heart.

After a hilarious opening set from comic Alex Edelman, Adams and his four bandmates tore into a 2½-hour performance at the State Theatre that included songs from eight albums with a heavy dose of his latest, “Prisoner.” With a mop of brown hair hanging down in front of his face, Adams walked on stage wielding a black Gibson Flying V guitar and started the show with “Do You Still Love Me?” and emotive, angst-filled vocals that set the show’s trajectory, much to the satisfaction of the sold-out crowd.

Adams didn’t really come up for air until 10 songs in, when he played “When The Stars Go Blue,” a gorgeous track from his 2001 “Gold” album. He fired off a tongue-in-cheek checklist of announcements that included telling us that the set-list was jampacked, hence the minimal chatter. He also spoke of walking around Portland and noticing things like a comic book store and a shop that still sells cassettes. He finished his comments by shouting, “You are my people! I am your people,” and then dove into “Magnolia Mountain.”

It’s worth mentioning the stage because there was a lot going on up there. The array of equipment and props included stacks of giant Fender and Gibson speakers, two huge stuffed tigers and a pyramid of ’90s-era TV sets projecting various imagery, all in front of a backdrop of starry lights. There was even a fog machine that was fired up a few times and especially toward the end of the show, when the entire front of the house was awash in a white cloud.

Later in the show Adams noticed two fans in the crowd and admitted that he had seen them on the street earlier in the day and had not wanted to engage with them then because he was in “just being me” mode. Adams apologized and then asked them questions and the entire exchange, although we could only hear Adams’ side of it, was charming. That’s the thing about Adams, he’s quirky and sometimes even a bit awkward, but it’s all part of what fans love about him. But mostly, the prolific Adams, who is 42 and has 16 studio albums, is a force of nature when it comes to alt-country, Americana and mid-tempo to sometimes full-throttle rock ‘n’ roll.

This was demonstrated song after song and not only lyrically and vocally but also with his guitar, which is more like an extra appendage than an instrument, such is his prowess with it.

Adams released three albums with his band Whiskeytown before going solo with “Heartbreaker” in 2000. In 2001 he released “Gold,” home to one of his best-known songs, “New York, New York.” He memorably performed the song on “Saturday Night Live” less than two months after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and he played it at the State Theatre, much to the crowd’s joy.

It seemed the show was ending without an encore when the band left the stage after “Shakedown on 9th St.” because piped-in music started playing and the house lights came on. The expected mass exodus of fans was underway but less than a minute later we all put it in reverse. The lights were turned back down and Adams came back on stage and played “Wonderwall,” the ’90s Oasis hit. It’s not a stretch to say that Adams’ version, stark and haunting, was better than the original. Many fans sang along with this one. Adams closed the night off with “Come Pick Me Up” from “Heartbreaker.” The tune had Adams playing a harmonica and guitar and singing bittersweet and salty lyrics as the clock neared 11:30 p.m. And when the houselights came on, this time for good, the sense of fulfillment among the crowd was palpable.

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