The Good, The Bad, and The Ugh
Like a bazillion other people, I went to the Bryan Adams concert last night. I hadn’t tried to win tickets even though I’d never seen him in concert. I guess I figured he’d be around again – he’s only 58 and he’s a vegan, so he’ll probably live forever… But when Rock 101 gave away tickets all last weekend, I couldn’t resist! There’s nothing like the feeling of sharing concert joy with 10,000 people in your hometown!
Everyone experiences concerts differently. And everyone reviews concerts differently. I write my reviews honestly, not having any reason to blow smoke up someone’s ass like those writing for magazines or media. I know you may have strong opinions of your own which disagree with mine, and I respect your right to have opinions. These are mine:
Great energy with a tight band, and everyone wore the same suit. They looked fantastic!
The stage was simple and neat. No pyrotechnics, no gaudy displays. My OCD loved it.
Bryan’s voice could’ve been a recording, it was that perfect. He engaged the crowd and read out some of the posters people were holding up.
We got treated to a special moment, one that has never been seen before and will never be repeated: a lovely introduction to his 90 year old mother who sat in her wheelchair in the wings. She looked young and healthy, despite having suffered a stroke five weeks ago. They smiled and blew kisses at each other and it was the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen a rock star do.
When Bryan stopped singing and the crowd sang for him, it was magical. The love in the room was a peaceful homage – nobody was screaming the words, just singing from their souls. It was beautiful. I hope he felt truly loved in those moments.
The acoustic encore set was my favourite part. He seemingly gave himself to us, all of him, not sharing the limelight with the band and not distracting us from his greatness. The harmonica was the icing on the cake. He played an Irish song I didn’t know but we were all singing with him by the end of it. I think it’s the sign of a true artist when they can stand there alone and carry the crowd with them on a journey. We were all totally engrossed and it was wonderful.
Not a fan of the new song. Lyrics were stale. I’d like to see a little more depth and evolution of Bryan’s music. His classics are signs of those times, the hard rock riffs, the rockabilly, the YEAHs. But music has evolved and Ultimate Love was reminiscent of the rebellious teens of the 90s, raging against the adults who’ve made a mess of this world. I know he can do better. Play to the audience who loves you, not the teenagers who are listening to Marshmello.
I hated the flashing lights. There were two songs in particular where the large screen behind him was flashing incessantly, so much that I had to turn my head away and watch the crowd behind me instead. One of those songs was 18 Til I Die, during which I glanced back to see him put “59” in place of “65”, indicating he’s 58. 58!! Good gawd, am I in my 50’s too? Sheesh, time flies…
And because I’m in my 50’s now, I couldn’t see him on stage. If he wasn’t projected onto the big screen behind him, he was merely a faceless suit and I couldn’t tell him from the other two guys with guitars. Bands from the 80’s should all have those big screens on the side where those of us with myopic eyeballs can make out their faces! Please!! Even when he was projected on the big screen there was other stuff going on – it was pixelated or jumping around – so I didn’t get to admire him from afar as much as I would’ve liked.
The other stuff going on in the big screen was, at times, odd. People with planet heads had me shaking mine. The entire song where he walked through a mall was interesting, but I may as well have been watching MTV. I enjoyed the Summer of 69 video, where they lyrics were written out on a woman’s body. Boobies were showing! I’d also like to point out that in 69 Bryan was 10 years old. That doesn’t matter in the least, I just get a cute mental picture of him standing on some Mama’s porch with a 10 year old girlfriend. Kind of a sweet image and makes the song mean so much more…
Traffic on Main Street was a nightmare and I didn’t get home until 11:20. After a quick catch-up with the babysitter (my 7 year old had fallen off a scooter and is a little banged up), I got to bed around midnight. My kid is up at 5:45.
But it was worth it! Go see Bryan if you get the chance. Even though there were things I thought could’ve been better, it really was a great concert!