REVIEW: Bryan Adams is back with ‘A masterclass in anthemic rock ‘n’ roll’ at Leeds Arena
Bryan Adams rocking out at Leeds FD Arena
Having a pre-show pizza, the waiter asked excitedly: “Are you going to see Bryan Adams tonight?”
“Yeah! Man, that’s wicked, so old skool.”
“Yep, old’s cool?” I replied with a wink thinking back three decades to the day I bought Bryan Adams Reckless album on vinyl from my local record shop (remember them?). I played it incessantly in my bedroom for what must have been a year and can still remember the £4.89 price-tag superglued to immoveable on the front cover.
Not that it was cool to have the album – even in the 80s. Owning something by the short-haired Canadian pop rocker was a bit of a secret to be kept well-hidden from heavy metal lovin’ pals who would be sure to mock his beautifully crafted songs. But I can’t have been alone. Twelve months on Reckless was voted album of the year by heavy metal magazine Kerrang and provided the template for Adams to become a true global superstar.
Now on the 30th anniversary, he is re-visiting the album that made his name playing it in full along with a number of tracks from the sessions which failed to make the cut at the time (including the title track) but are now conveniently released on an updated 17-track version of the epic to accompany the tour.
Bryan Adams showed fans why he remains one of the world's biggest artists to this day
Split into two-sections the two-hour performance by the svelte 55-year-old focuses on the aforementioned classic album for the first part, Adams and long-term guitar cohort Keith Scott delivering tune after classic tune after classic tune. The hits from one album are incredible. Run To You, One Night Love Affair, Kids Wanna Rock, It’s Only Love, Somebody and Heaven all had the 12,000 audience singing word-for word before the roof was inevitably raised – along with portly posteriors from their seats – by the album’s true mega-hit Summer of ’69.
With everyone on their feet, Adams made the sort of terrible error that befalls out-of-touch wedding DJs with a clunky changeover into the lesser-known Let Me Down Easy prompting thousands of bottoms to instantly return to their seats.
Despite the groove on offer they sadly wouldn’t be raised again until hometime – causing a slightly muted atmosphere to the evening. Why do people of all ages go to rock shows and spend the entire evening sat down as if at the opera?