Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bryan Adams - Glasgow SECC, Monday 27 October 2008

To Glasgow for an evening which turned out to be one of the best gigs I've been to in many years. We can skip over the support (Black Daniel), who were mostly harmless, and cut straight to the man himself. Adams emerged at around half past eight and played for over two hours. He made his initial entrance at the back of the arena (just alongside my seat in fact) and got up onto a little stage there, just him and his guitar, to do Can't Stop This Thing We Started and Please Forgive Me. I managed to take this picture with my phone:

Then it was up to the stage to join his four-piece backing band for an energetic stream of numbers, I can't remember the exact order but we had:
18 Till I Die
I Ain't Losin' The Fight
Kids Wanna Rock
Let's Make A Night To Remember
Summer of 69
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
It's Only Love
When You're Gone
The Way Of The World
Cloud Number 9
Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman
Cuts Like A Knife
I Thought I'd Seen Everything
The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You
Hearts On Fire
Back To You
Run To You

For When You're Gone he got an audience member (not planted) up to duet with him (first making sure they did actually know the song). This was Shelley, a bingo caller from Fife, who actually did a pretty good job all things considered and wasn't at all overawed by the massive audience. He escorted her off the stage afterwards to get some T-shirts and the like, and the rest of the band did The Way Of The World without him.

I think Run To You was the encore he did with the whole band. He certainly reappeared with just his (Glasgow-made) guitar at the very end to round off the evening with Straight From The Heart and All For Love.

Sometimes you go to to see someone you've admired for years and are disappointed by their live performance. More usually you get what you were expecting, no more, no less. And just occasionally you get far more. Bryan Adams was one of the latter group. It wasn't just that he was good, though he was. It wasn't just that he played a very long set, though it was very good value. It wasn't even the sheer physical energy he brought to his performance, astounding though it was for someone nearing fifty. No, it was that he simply hasn't allowed the fact of having played Everything I Do and Summer of 69 all those hundreds of times make the slightest difference. The oldest songs were played with the same enthusiasm, the same warmth and the same freshness as the ones from his latest album. In that of course he is helped by the tightness and general attitude of his band (whatever the opposite is of going through the motions) but also by the sheer strength of most of his material. In some quarters it's fashionable to knock Everything I Do, for example, but it quite simply has, as Withnail might put it, the finest middle eight available to humanity. (OK, And Your Bird Can Sing and When I Kissed The Teacher run it close. Pretty exalted songwriting company he's keeping there.)

If that was typical of Bryan Adams' performances I can't imagine ever feeling that I'd seen enough of them.

Oh, and I found this on Youtube when putting this post together. Two of my musical idols together, 14 years ago. How perfectly Jean-Jacques Goldman's old hit suits Adams' style, and how well JJG fits in with the BA classic.


At 01 November, 2008 12:44, Anonymous Lynsay said...

It was a fantastic night wasn't it? One of the best Bryan Adams gigs I've been too. Love your review.


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