Bryan Adams at Wembley Arena
The treat of the week arrived straight from Northern Ireland to Wembley Arena for a Wednesday of rock and fun. Bryan Adams, currently on a UK tour for the release of his 14th album, Shine a Light, gifted to his London fans a spectacular show.
The night started with a vigorous Ultimate Love, featuring a couple of powerful riffs from the gold-tinted lead guitar. After Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, the unique beats of Run to You hit the Arena.
The performance went on in a good balance between the artist’s hard rock pieces and softer music. It was Heaven, which followed the first trio of songs, that ignited the crowd. Introduced by a singalong – actually, a perfectly tuned monumental choir – from the audience, this was a very emotional one from Adams’s catalogue, a single that recreated a lulling atmosphere, if not for the romantic vibes set at the venue. From the new album, Shine a Light proved quite a different, uplifting turn. A collaboration with Ed Sheeran, the tune added just a bit of pop, but not as much as expected from the British singer.
With some emotion in his voice, Adams remembered how the concert marked his 29th presence at Wembley, the very first being his opening act for Tina Turner. The top of the night came with It’s Only Love, which originally featured the queen of rock’n’roll. It was a pure injection of rock and euphoria. Keith Scott on the guitar showed himself capable of some of the best solos this reviewer has listened to, played with enviable spontaneity.
To give time for the venue to breathe, Please Stay followed. Those few who were not yet standing, soon left their seats to join the crowd in a swing dance for You Belong to Me, played with incredible gusto.
Thanks to the masterly performance of Gary Breit at the piano, the concert entered a poignant phase, with three pieces executed in an acoustic version: Here I Am, When You Are Gone, I Do It for You. What couldn’t be missed from the setlist were the powerful Summer of 69 and the Spanish-flavoured Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?. Remembering how Whiskey in the Jar was added by chance at one of his concerts just over a year ago, Adams, at this point alone on the stage, took up the harmonica for the folk tune.
The artist told a couple of anecdotes from his teenage life, how he started playing and what following a dream means, to end up dedicating Straight from the Heart to his parents, who really supported him during the first years of his music career.
There was a hint again of Shine a Light, with the arena going completely dark and the smartphones creating a sea of tiny torches. But it was All for Love that was the memorable concluding hymn to music, passion and life that Bryan Adams so perfectly channelled, not only through the night, but in all his dazzling work.
For further information and future events visit Bryan Adams’s website here.
Listen to Shine a Light here: