Bryan Adams
Newcastle Metro Arena
Thursday 24th November 2011

Alan Harrison


Just as the last notes from Sheena is a Punk Rocker faded away the house lights dimmed and the roar from the 10,000 strong crowd must have been heard over the river in Gateshead and when the spotlight hit him, the smile on Bryan Adam’s face would have lit up three streets there too.


I had no idea what to expect tonight as I’m not really a huge fan; but I had my breath taken away as the Canadian Rocker absolutely owned the stage from the start to the finish. He ran around like a teenager and threw every Rock Guitar ‘shape’ in the book but it only added to the occasion and never came close to detracting from the songs; and it was the songs that his infatuated fans had come to hear.


Speaking of the ‘songs;’ I was genuinely surprised at how many I actually recognised and every single one filled the huge Arena with their remarkable power and energy.


Adams looked spectacularly fit; which he needed to be as the concert lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes with very only a smattering of slow songs in between the all out rockers that had the audience bopping and punching the air too.


Of course Summer of 69 was greeted before, during and after like the Rock Classic it is, but Lets stop this thing, 18 til I die and Run to You all had tushes of varying sizes shaking as if their owners lives depended on it.


At every given opportunity Adams would raise his right arm which was the command for his acolytes to bellow out the chorus to whatever song he was singing. It might not be my idea of fun but 9,999 other people seemed to be having the time of their lives.


For an Arena show the lighting was kept deceptively simple all night, and when the opening chords to Everything I Do resonated around the cavernous building, Adams was suddenly bathed in a neon crown of light that was perfectly fitting for a song as utterly brilliant as this. I know it’s easy to be cynical about a ‘love song’ that has sold as many copies as this has, but listen to it….actually listen to the words and melody and the song genuinely is one of the best pop songs ever.


As I said I wasn’t a huge fan of Bryan Adams, but All I Want is You, The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me (is You) and Rescue Me all have deceptively clever lyrics and made my buy his Greatest Hits the following morning.


The Canadian’s foil for the evening was the Master of the Five Finger Shuffle on the freeboard, Keith Scott with whom he reprised the famous Bowie/Ronson ‘simulation act’ at one stage; much to the crowds delight.


Surprisingly enough, the highlight of the evening was when Adams stopped the show to invite someone on stage to join him for ‘Baby When You’re Gone.’ “Oh dear;” I thought, “This is going to be a bit ‘Dancing in the Dark’ and not in a good way,” but I needn’t have worried because tonight’s willing volunteer was a fuller figured accountant called Emma from Newcastle who stole the show. She admitted that she couldn’t sing a note, but slinkily moved and grooved and flirted with Mr. Adams for the duration and wouldn’t leave the stage until she’d kissed each member of the band.


If I have a gripe it’s my regular one – bloody camera phones! Ok, it was cute when they were waved around during the slow love songs but, trust me on this, you cannot take a decent photo of an act in an Arena on one from 100 yards away; you just can’t! Then of course there is the constant Social Networking malarkey that went on all night….stop it! Watch the bloody concert!


Oh; if I think about it the band could have shaved a good 15 minutes off the show by not dragging out their solos, especially the drummer’s solo on some pots and pans. It was funny for a couple of minutes but not 5!


I hold my hand up, basically I’m a music snob, just like the majority of people reading this review (be honest) and I’m certainly not a lover of gigantic Arena gigs, but this simple, noisy and rocking show completely won me over – I’m a convert, Bryan Adams is officially COOL!

Views: 975

Tags: Adams, Bryan, Canadian, Rocker

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 6, 2011 at 4:53am

ND is a very flexible family; which is why I posted this review here; yet I still expected 'flak' as Adams is a Pop Star.....I have received less than expected. 

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 6, 2011 at 5:15am

I'm new to his work (2 weeks hehehe) but very tempted to do a review of his career...perhaps in the New Year

Comment by Will James on December 6, 2011 at 6:13am

Wow, who'd have ever thought Bryan Adams would bring this disparate group together! (Personally not a huge fan, never saw him in concert, heard they're great, like him as he wrote about my own "Summer of '69." Rebel great too.)

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 6, 2011 at 6:24am

Will; I think he's a bit of a 'guilty pleasure'...but I now think he can give that Springsteen chap a run for his money under similar circumstances - 4pc band and no Las Vegas razzmatazz.

Comment by Jack Kidd on December 7, 2011 at 2:39am

Alan, when I first read this article (in our local newspaper) it really made me smile, as the very same thing happened to me, but some 13-14 years ago when I saw Bryan Adams in the open air at The McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield. I was a corporate guest and only went because some potential new business might be on the horizon. Well Bryan also blew me away and dispelled lots of false impressions I had of him and his music. He has a good voice, he can really play the guitar, he has charismatic presence and can certainly work a crowd. Granted, I haven't been back to see him (not even tempted) but I did see him guest on a  Bonnie Raitt gig at The Albert Hall 6-7 years ago and when he walked on stage Bonnie not only  introduced him to the audience, but she wrapped her arms AND LEGS around him in an extremely friendly gesture.  His greatest hits are are my i-Pod and once in a while when I crank things up then his music can fit the bill. 

Kyla, check him out live at the next opportunity, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 7, 2011 at 3:10am

Thanks again Jack....I have to admit to being a little bit mischievous posting it on here, but the reaction has been first class - as Will James said earlier; this thread has mysteriously brought the ND fans together; who'd have thought that?

   Off to see The Kasabians on Thursday night; do you think they are suitable for ND readers?

Comment by John Jobling on December 7, 2011 at 8:01am
It's ''Kasabian'' and yeah...well known for their down home country vibe!
Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 7, 2011 at 8:06am

oh no! I've been researching a Bluegrass trio called the Kasabians - yikes!

Comment by John Jobling on December 7, 2011 at 10:08am
aren't they a trapeze act?
Comment by Skot Nelson on December 12, 2011 at 9:24pm

> I was under the impression that Bryan Adams was a cheesy pop singer pumping out over produced crap for the less

> discerning.

Mainstream mass appeal rock and roll that largely exists because of Can Con regulations. Were it not for regulations governing airplay, I suspect he'd have had a short career.


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.