Concert Review with PHOTOS: Bryan Adams

Photos by Reef Reid

Photos by Reef Reid

By Reef Reid

Artist: Bryan Adams with special guests Dave Dobbyn & The Jordan Luck Band

Date / Venue: Sunday January 7th, 2018 - ASB Baypark Stadium, Mt Maunganui

After nearly 5 years since he last toured here, Bryan Adams was back in New Zealand and I caught the show on what turned out to be the last leg of his “NZ Summer Tour ‘18” at Mount Maunganui where he was supported by popular New Zealand artists, Jordan Luck Band (of the Exponents) and Dave Dobbyn.

Unlike in April 2013, this time around Bryan Adams played with his full band to a large crowd at the ASB Bay Park Stadium. With recent bad weather in the North Island, the promoter made the decision on the day of the show (5th Jan) to postpone the event until Sunday 7th January due to safety concerns over the strong winds (not the rain), which while being annoying for many, was probably the right call.  Nobody likes postponements least of all the promoter as it creates a logistical nightmare and affects the bottom line.

The set durations for Jordan Luck band and Dave Dobbyn were also halved from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, and this was due to conditions of the new consent which in turn created a need to finish earlier at 9:00pm. I was also photographing the show and did so from all areas.

Anyway, Jordan Luck band was up first and this is an artist I hadn’t seen live in over 30 years since the days of the “Dance Exponents” back in the late 80’s when they were playing schools at lunch time in Auckland. I spoke with Jordan back stage minutes before they started as he was going through his final preparation and he was pumped and eager to get out there!

Jordan Luck and his band have just come off a six show tour of the upper North Island in December 2017 with Elemeno P so they were well oiled, so to speak and it showed, because they were tight.

They belted out numbers that we have all come to know and love, such as “Whatever Happened To Tracey”, “Victoria”, “I’ll Say Goodbye” and “Who Loves Who The Most”. Vocally he sounded great and was well received by the crowd who were ready to party!  No sooner had it started and it seemingly came to an end with the with the classic “Why Does Love, Do This To Me”

After a short change over, Dave Dobbyn was up next, another artist well known as the front man for Th’ Dudes and iconic 80’s band DD Smash, but now days equally well known for his solo career.  This tour is the start of Dave’s touring summer before hitting Waipu and later headlining the City Stage at Homegrown in Wellington.

With a huge back catalogue to call on, Dobbyn began the set with “Language”. In thirty minutes he did well to perform classics from all decades of his musical career such as “Whaling”, “Be Mine Tonight”, “Outlook For Thursday”, “Loyal” and “Slice Of Heaven”.

With the band all decked out in black and white they went on to bring the crowd to the next level. Dobbyn ended the set with “Welcome Home” before thanking the crowd with a blessing.

Bang on 7:00pm Bryan Adams hits the stage to a roaring welcome from the crowd who by this time were well ready, and launches into “One Night Love Affair” to begin the two hour show. A few tracks in and Bryan comments that he didn’t know whether he would be able to play or not, given the recent stormy weather.

Next, the piano starts with the familiar intro to “Heaven” and the crowd sings the first verse to the piano with Bryan joining part the way through and a starry background playing on the big screen at the rear of the stage. If it was dark, I’m sure the cigarette lighters and cellphones would have been waving in the air, but at 7:15pm it was hot and bright!

At the beginning of “It’s Only Love”, Bryan begins to introduce Tina Turner, but to no avail. I don’t think the crowd bought it, but it was a light hearted moment.  Bryan sung all parts of the song and was joined on parts by Keith Scott who also plays lead guitar.

Bryan demands “Come on everybody, get your hands up!” and begins Cloud #9. After a new track, the unmistakable guitar riff for “Summer Of ’69” begins and I look around to a fully engaged audience, even the VIP tent were all on their feet!

Half way through the main set and I think the crowd had well forgotten any angst they may have had about the postponement. Bryan changes to his acoustic guitar for an acoustic version of “When You’re Gone” which actually worked well. Immediately following was the ballad “I Do It For You” and throughout this track I could not get images of Kevin Costner as Robin Hood out of my head!

Thankfully after bringing the pace down for that number, it was exploded back into life with “Back To You” which was good timing as the light show became more evident with the sun now set. The hits keep flowing with “Somebody”,The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You” with a medley like transition into “Cuts Like A Knife” where at one point the whole band was crammed onto the drum riser for some reason known only to them.

It was about this time Bryan got his phone out and took a video of the crowd which I see he posted to his Instagram. The main set finished with “Brand New Day”  After a brief recess, the band returns to perform the encore and after Ultimate Love, launches into a cover of “I Fought The Law” and during this track the camera heads into the pit to capture the front rows of the audience.  The show concludes with a near solo performance of “All for Love” before Bryan thanks the audience and sets off.

I am backstage at this time as he happens to walk past and I couldn’t resist selfishly taking a photo of him on my phone and to my surprise he reciprocates with a smile and a wave. It was a great show from all the artists. The sound throughout the day/night was great. Everything seemed to run to time and by all accounts a well organised event.

Set List:

One Night Love Affair

Can't Stop This Thing We Started

Run To You

Go Down Rockin'


This Time

It's Only Love

Please Stay

Cloud #9

You Belong to Me

Summer of '69

When You're Gone (acoustic)

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You

Back to You


Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?

The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You

Cuts Like a Knife

18 til I Die

I'm Ready

Brand New Day


Ultimate Love

I Fought the Law

Straight From The Heart

All for Love