Artist: Bryan Adams
Date / Venue: Tuesday April 23rd, Civic Theatre, Auckland
His face may be a bit more weathered and his hair might be a little thinner than when he was last in New Zealand but Bryan Adams certainly didn't show his age as he rocked out a superb concert at the Civic Theatre in Auckland, 23rd April 2013 as part of his Bare Bones Tour.
Bare Bones meaning just Adams, his strong raspy voice, and his acoustic guitar, supported occasionally byGary Breit on piano who together have been touring this acoustic form of concert for several years now and have even released a CD. So stripped back was it that there was no warm up act, just a slightly premature start from the lighting people, before out strode Adams and his guitar, waving to the cheers of the crowd cracking into ‘Run to You'.
There was very little pause as he strummed out his 1985 Tina Turner duet ‘It's Only Love', followed by 1997's‘Back to You', and it continued in much this vein as he took us on a journey throughout his thirty-plus year career.
‘Can't Stop This Thing We've Started', ‘Heat of the Night', ‘Cuts Like a Knife', ‘Heaven', all of his hits from his illustrious career rolled out acoustically without a hint of falter or hiccup. But it wasn't just the music that won over the crowd it was the intimacy in which Bryan Adams portrayed himself. Helped by the closeness of the venue, he introduced songs as if it was our first time hearing them, even dedicating songs for members of the crowd which he chatted to throughout.
‘Summer Of 69' got everyone off their seats and into the aisles, ‘If Ya Wanna Be Bad You Gotta Be Good' was dedicated to the "wildest" woman in the room, while Adams also humoured us by singing in a Tim McGraw-like/country style through the second verse of ‘Please Forgive Me', to much laughter and delight.
For someone who is often very private about his personal life, you certainly felt like you got to know the real Bryan Adams as he appeared very down to earth, humble, and comedic in his general banter and crowd interaction. His song with ex-Spice Girl Mel C ‘When You're Gone' closed the main set list, but it wasn't long before Adams returned to the stage for another six songs including ‘Somebody', ‘Straight From The Heart' and what he claimed was his most romantic song ever written ‘All For Love' closed the evenings proceedings.
They say that the measure of a great rock song is if it holds up stripped back of all the technical mumbo jumbo, and played acoustically. If this is the case then surely the measure of a great musician is to be able to play their songs in the same manner. Bryan Adams showed why he is a great musician and why, despite the slightly weathered look, his songs will stand the test of time.
Run to You
It's Only Love
Back to You
Here I Am
Do I Have to Say the Words?
Can't Stop This Thing We've Started
If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good
Heat of the Night
Not Romeo Not Juliet
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
Cuts Like a Knife
Please Forgive Me
Summer of '69
Walk on By
The Right Place
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
When You're Gone
You've Been a Friend to Me
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
I Still Miss You... A Little Bit
Straight from the Heart
All for Love