It’s that familiar voice you always hear on the radio. It’s the love anthem that’s on the soundtrack of one of your favourite movies. It’s the rocking number that never fails to get your feet tapping and your head bobbing.
Bryan Adams’ music is so ingrained into our lives that we don’t really realise just how much until we’re in a stadium full of thousands of his fans, screaming every verse of (Everything I Do) I Do It For You or jumping along to Summer Of ‘69.
Playing at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam, Selangor on Jan 21 as part of his worldwide Get Up Tour, Adams gave his fans a night to remember.
Starting at 9pm sharp, Adams kicked off with a new song Do What You Gotta Do (from his recent Get Up album), but as soon as that ended and the intro to Can’t Stop This Thing We Started kicked in, there really was no stopping this thing he had started.
This being a tour to promote his new album, there was a fair number of new songs in the setlist. However, with 13 studio albums worth of material and countless hits over the years, the 57-year-old Canadian rocker could insert the new songs in between the classics, and the fans still lapped it up anyway.
Case in point, when after one of his old hits, Run To You, he played the thumping new number Go Down Rocking, and then immediately gave the crowd something to cheer louder about with Heaven, the first of many singalongs of the night.
It is the shrewd setlist-management like this, and the fact that the new songs were actually pretty good as well, that made Adams stand out as a live act. His crowd interaction also helped sell those new songs well – before You Belong To Me, he asked the crowd what “wiggle” was in Bahasa Malaysia, and then proclaimed that “This is a goyang song!” (which of course, got the crowd to goyang as well).
Still, no matter how good his newer material may be, it’s hard to deny that the crowd were there to hear the mega hits, and boy did he deliver on that – out of the 30 songs he played throughout the two-and-a-half-hour set, only six were from Get Up.
Personally, Summer Of ‘69 has always been one of those songs you wished you could hear live. When Adams performed the number, he didn’t disappoint. No, not one bit.
When that iconic intro came on, it immediately got everyone on their feet, dancing and screaming along.
After that soaring high, Adams turned the volume down with an acoustic session that also made you realise that his voice is exactly the same as what you hear on your CDs or on the radio. It’s a warm, soothing voice that wraps itself around your aural senses like a warm blanket, and feels like such a familiar friend.
And when that voice launches into a song as huge as (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, there is absolutely no chance you would not be singing along to it. It was the same when he played latin-tinged Woman, and the hit ballad Please Forgive Me – I don’t care how often you roll your eyes when you hear them on the radio, or how cheesy you think they are, you only realise just how great these songs are when you’re screaming the lyrics along with a thousand fans.
After the high of those songs, the rest of the set seemed a little anti-climactic, to tell the truth, but with rocking songs like Cuts Like A Knife, 18 Til I Die and even covers of Eddie Cochran’s Come On Everybody and Elvis Presley’s All Shook Up, Adams made sure the party went on until the final three songs of the encore.
It was fitting that he ended the concert with another acoustic set that featured just his voice and a guitar, it served as a final reminder of Adams’ star quality.
And by the time the night ended with the magical, soaring All For Love, everyone in that stadium knew that there truly will never be another tonight.