Canadian rock star Bryan Adams thrilled Belfast on Wednesday night (11th May 2016), with a high class performance that ebbed and flowed; from sing-along anthems of a generation to genteel solo acoustic spots.
Taking to the stage in front of a packed house at the city’s SEE Arena, the icon showed off his instantly recognisable gritty voice, charismatic charm, and guitar playing chops during an almost two and a half hour show that showcased hits from right across his three decade career.
Suited and booted, and flanked by a four piece band that included song writing partner Phil Thornalley on bass, and long standing guitarist Keith Scott, Adams thrilled from the off. As high-energy opener ‘Do What You Gotta Do’ from latest album ‘Get Up’ bled into an erupting ‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’, it was clear that Belfast was in for an electrifying night.
With a clearly appreciative audience in house, the loudest screams were saved for the tracks from Adams’ career-defining ‘Reckless’ album. While ballad ‘Heaven’ and air-guitar anthem ‘Summer Of ’69’ prompted the former Groover from Vancouver to sit out the first verses altogether to be replaced by the eager tones of the Belfast crowd, a driving ‘Run To You’ and frenetic ‘Kids Wanna Rock’ raised the roof. Playing a knowingly ham-fisted, over the top solo during ‘It’s Only Love’ meanwhile, Adams’ sidekick Scott’s jaw-dropping guitar skills prompted the taken aback singer to quip; “that was f****n' great, mate”.
And it wasn’t only the members of Adam’s own band that came in for praise. With the audience's voices ringing out loud during ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’, Bryan revealed: “As I was playing that song, all I could remember was the first time I played it in Belfast, and how loud you sang back in 1991 / 1992".
Continuing, he admitted: “No matter where I've played it, it’s never been bettered”, to the delighted crowd.
As the hits continued, and the band left the stage, Bryan saw out the evening with a short solo set, in a hark back to 2014’s ‘Bare Bones’ acoustic tour. Playing a few audience requests, as well as some of his earliest material, the engaging performer proved just why he is so enduring.
Parting with debut album rarity ‘Remember’, the singer told the crowd: “you’ve been such a great audience to be a part of. I'll be thinking of you tonight when I'm in my hotel”.
No doubt the feeling was mutual.
Bryan Adams' 'Get Up Tour' Continues on 12th May in Newcastle at the Metro Radio Arena, and continues with further dates finishing up in Scarborough at the city's Open Air Theatre on 8th August.
Bryan Adams Get Up 2016 U.K. Tour Dates:
13 May - Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
14 May - Sheffield, Sheffield Arena
15 May - Liverpool, Echo Arena
4 Aug - Esher, Sandown Park Racecourse
5 Aug - Peterborough, The Embankment
6 Aug - Lytham Green, Lytham Festival
7 Aug - Montrose, East Links
8 Aug - Scarborough, Open Air Theatre