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!