Bare Bones Tour by Bryan Adams (Gig Review)

Bryan Adams – Bare Bones Tour – Colston Hall Bristol Tuesday 9th September 2014

I’ve previously mentioned the amount of gigs I go to. Not just for review purposes, but because there’s nothing like the buzz and feel of seeing and hearing your favourite (or favourite to be) songs live.

Some gigs I’ve seen are good, some will obviously be bad, but then for others, just brilliant. Bryan AdamsBare Bones Tour gig  at Colston Hall falls into that latter category.

Canadian rocker Bryan Adams plays at Bristol's Colston Hall

Canadian rocker Bryan Adams plays at Bristol’s Colston Hall

For most, if you mention Bryan Adams, you’ll bring up images of the Summer of 91 and THAT song from Robin Hood. Or maybe being drunk with your air guitar on a Saturday night playing along to Summer of 69 (Ed-No, definitely that annoying song). But he’s not just about those two hits (although Summer of 69 didn’t even go higher than the UK Top 30), he’s so much more.

Just imagine a gig with no screens, imagery, clever effects. On paper it sounds as dull as dishwater, I mean, why would you pay to see THAT? Well, my cynical friend, this is why;

A guitar, a Canadian rock legend and accompaniment by a piano at times is all you need when you have the 30 year plus back catalogue that Bry has. You do forget how many songs have been used in films, from The Mirror with two faces, Three Musketeers, Spirit, and of course that film with Kevin Costner. As a side note, he didn’t perform one of my favourite film songs from Jack (with the late Robin Williams) – Star, but in two hours and how many songs in his armoury I’m not surprised.

The Colston Hall is quite a refined venue compared to most I’ve been to – it’s a proper old school concert hall – and you’d think a rocker wouldn’t really fit in there. You’d be wrong. For the most part the audience sat down and were quite happy with a “Bry SingAlong”, but then came Summer of 69, When you’re gone and Straight to the Heart.

One thing of note, no photography was allowed. Now whether this is a new trend kicking in (Thanks Prince/Kate Bush), or just a venue thing, I find it a bit weird to be stopped taking photos of a guy who does that really well as a side line career. Yes if people are using big cameras – or more annoyingly, a flash (please note – flashes rarely work in gigs if you’re 50 metres away from the subject – unless someone knows better than me, but camera phones don’t take good close shots). That little gripe aside – which could be a venue thing I know, I did take a couple of shots, obviously for my own memory (and facebook page).

Going back to my original point of seeing so many gigs, there will only be a handful that will stick in my memory. Coldplay in Manchester in 2012, the final A-Ha gig in Cardiff, and now Bryan Adams in the Colston Hall in September 2014.

He’s back touring in the UK in November as part of the 30th anniversary of Reckless. This won’t be as special as the Bare Bones Tour, but needless to say, I’ve already got my tickets booked and can’t wait for the third time of seeing Bry. Fanboy? Me? Well, I suppose yes.

Review by Patrick Downes


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