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: 979

Tags: Adams, Bryan, Canadian, Rocker

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 13, 2011 at 12:16am

Well Skot - you were and still are WRONG. Do tell us what these mysterious 'Can-Con regulations governing airplay' are?

Comment by Will James on December 13, 2011 at 7:03am

Alan, I assume he's talking Canadian regs whereby stations have to play a certain percentage of Canadian artists.

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 13, 2011 at 7:17am

I wasn't aware of that - not  a bad thing baring in mind the proximity to the USA; as I presume a lot of lesser known Canadian acts get airplay that would get lost without it.

Comment by Will James on December 13, 2011 at 7:27am

Not a bad thing at all. However, I do believe Bryan Adams achieved international status a long time ago; he could certainly live off the royalties from just a couple of the big ones. However, as you've stated, he's a pro that cares about his audience, loves to do it, and puts it all into each performance, whatever the country.

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 13, 2011 at 7:35am

It's quite funny how I've become so defensive of Mr Adams; but I suppose converts are a bit over zealous in their appreciation! hahaha.

re: Canada.

    Bob Harris (Country DJ and legend) did a twittery thing last week about 'your favourite' Canadian Roots/Country Act - it was great fun seeing how many famous and should be famous Americana (hahaha) people have come out of that beautiful country.

Comment by Will James on December 13, 2011 at 7:45am

I missed that. I would certainly nominate the seven acts I booked in Toronto in September, especially Jacques & the Shakey Boys (now Valdanes, from First Nations), Whitney Rose, The Key Frames, Unseen Strangers, Drunk Woman, Big Tobacco, and Kate Boothman and Sunbear. Not sure if they get much airplay if I can afford them;)  but phenomenal talent up there!

Comment by Jack Williams on December 13, 2011 at 8:05am

I never had an urge to buy a Bryan Adams album, although I liked some of his songs to the point where I wouldn't necessarily change the station if I heard him on the radio.  And I did like his gravelly voice.  I do remember watching him on TV when he played the Live Aid concert at Giants stadium.  Thought he was great.  And then poor Joni Mitchell followed him on stage and started playing what may have been a new song.  Solo acoustic.  After about five minutes of this mellow tune, the water balloons starting flying toward the stage.

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 13, 2011 at 8:19am

Oh dear....Joni might be a Goddess but the Live Aid thing attracted the worst type of music fan on both sides of the water; hey ho - Its only rock & roll.

Comment by Will James on December 13, 2011 at 8:25am

I guess one of my GIN Toronto bands did get some CBC radio attention: - the Canadian government has (maybe not so much under Bush North Harper) supported the arts. The others can be found on the web. Maybe more off topic, I believe Ontario band the Sadies would have loved to play Gram InterNational, but when they get that big, I can't get by the "handlers." One Hundred Years is another from up there. I booked Lydia Loveless in '10 for Boston, she came out from Ohio; a few months later she was signed by Bloodshot and I can't get near her (regardless of the restraining order - joke!!). And there are some Arena acts (to bring it back to Bryan) that I feel would be interested; of course I can't get near them.

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on December 13, 2011 at 8:37am

I saw the Sadies last year fir the first time and was impressed; Lydia has been an album of the year for me - I'll check out the others later in the week, thanks. 


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