I swear that Bryan Adams sounds pretty much the same now as he did 25 years ago when I was blown away to his superb and in many ways defining CD Waking up the Neighbours.
Sure it’s a long time ago, but if you closed your eyes and just listened to Adams belt out timeless gems like It’s Only Love and Can’t Stop This Thing We Started at the Centrium Tuesday evening, you would think time had indeed stood still.
I’m sure I’m not alone in that opinion, as witnessed by watching a packed house respond jubilantly to hit after hit performed to absolute perfection by Adams and his terrific band.
Adams is nothing if not the consummate performer and entertainer. He’s perfectly comfortable onstage. He’s funny. He genuinely is having a great time himself as he sings the classics that he’s been belting out for years.
And Tuesday featured loads of those – from the spectacular Summer of ’69, This Time, Run to You and Heaven to Somebody and the rollicking glory of the aforementioned Its only Love.
There were also lots of striking newer cuts from his latest disc Get Up such as You Belong to Me, Don’t Even Try, Do What Ya Gotta Do, and the flat-out crackle of Go Down Rockin’.
Other standouts were the reflective I’ll Always Be Right There For You from 1996’s 18 ‘Till I Die and of course, Adams also performed the international smash Everything I Do (I Do it for You) from Waking Up the Neighbours to the fans’ clear delight.
He also presented a wonderfully well-crafted, stripped down acoustic version of When Your Gone from 1998’s On a Day Like Today that was originally recorded with Mel C. from the Spice Girls back in the day.
Kids Wanna Rock from 1993’s ‘Best of’ So Far, So Good also likely took many in the audience back to their much younger days in the best way possible.
If Ya Wanna Be Bad, You Gotta Be Good and Back to You (a personal favourite of mine) from 1997’s Unplugged were yet more highlights from an evening that so aptly balanced the old with the new.
Adams can connect to his loyal audience like few artists really have the ability to – he knows precisely what folks are wanting to hear, and he generously serves it up with charm, dedication and that feeling like there really is no place he’d rather be than on that very stage.
He also sings the old hits like they’re brand new – his passion for what he’s doing doesn’t let up for a single second.
We are really beyond fortunate that artists like him – full of charisma and that rare sense of compelling authenticity – continue to share their musical gifts with us.