Kicking off appropriately with latest album 'So Happy it Hurts' high point ‘Kick Ass’, Bryan and band were in jovial form from the off, with the track’s pumping rhythm and infectious harmonies getting the Sunday night party started.
Following with infectious 1991 single and fan-favourite ‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’, it was the early arrival of ‘Run to You’ that saw the atmosphere quickly rise to fever pitch, as the ‘Reckless’-era classic’s opening arpeggios rang out across the capacity crowd.
Soaking up the truly rapturous welcome he was receiving, Adams greeted the audience, asking; “Hey everybody, how are you tonight?”, adding; “it’s been a couple of years since we’ve done shows, and the one thing that is fantastic is to be able to do it again”.
Following with the rousing ‘Shine a Light’, it was uber ballad ‘Heaven’ that saw the evening’s loudest singalong, with the audience taking the entire first verse, prompting Bryan to quip; “Oh Belfast, you sound mighty good tonight!”
Introduced as; “the fastest fingers in Belfast” meanwhile, guitarist Keith Scott showed off the chops that proved exactly why he’s been Adams’ foil since the beginning of his career, with virtuoso-worthy showboating during ‘It’s Only Love’.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bryan Adams gig without copious audience participation, and getting them in on the act, as well as up on the big screen, ‘You Belong to Me’ inspired some truly epic, world-class dad dancing. With some impressive shapes thrown both off, and on stage, Adams and Scott joined in the fun with good humoured abandon.
Offering a brief change of pace, the band were reduced to a duo of Bryan and keysman Gary Breit for a run through an uplifting ‘Here I Am’, before the singer paused to acknowledge how much of a good time everyone was having. Shaking his head, he quietly exclaimed; “what a gig!”
With some songs inevitable - ubiquitous number one single '(Everything I Do) I Do It for You', the hysteria-rising ‘Summer of ’69’ – the unpredictability of the by now, customary ‘requests’ section brought with it more than a few surprises. Treating Phillip - or as Adams’ put it, "Phullup", in a hilarious and very convincing take on a broad Belfast accent - to debut album deep cut ‘Remember’, Kateriana got her wish with a run through 1997 'Unplugged' high point ‘When You Love Someone’.
Racing towards the finish line, the band said their goodbyes with early hit ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ before changing up a gear and dropping an inflatable car from the ceiling for a few laps, Pink Floyd-style for ‘So Happy it Hurts’.
Taking things right back to basics, it was a lone Bryan Adams who closed the evening out. “I don’t see you leaving too fast, so I'm going to have to play the harmonica to get you out of here”, he joked, ahead of a crowd-pleasing run through Thin Lizzy’s version of traditional Irish classic ‘Whisky in the Jar’.
Taking his bows on what had been in incredible night, the genuinely humbled songsmith said; “I just want to say to each and every one of you, thank you for coming. You've been a fabulous audience”.
Like this story? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for regular updates & more of the same.
Get Bryan Adams 'So Happy It Hurts' limited editions, vinyl and merch here.
Check out our gallery from the show below. All photos by Darren McLoughlin.