There aren’t many artists who’ve got a back catalogue like Bryan Adams’.
You might think that he’s middle-of-the-road, or boring, but we happen to think that he’s brilliant. Remember Summer of ’69? Heaven? When You’re Gone, Run To You, and The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You? Classics, the lot of them. Heck, if we’re being honest, we’ve even got a soft spot for Everything I Do (I Do It For You):
Sure, you might have heard them all a few too many times for your liking, but not even the most cold-hearted of heavy metal fans could deny that those are some seriously good songs.
You’ve got to admit, too, that the fact that he’s even still going is impressive in itself. Bryan Adams is fifty-seven years old, and yet he’s still making new music, appearing on TV shows, and touring some of the UK’s biggest venues. That’s the sort of career longevity, dear reader, that keeps Jessie J awake at night. If you close your eyes, you can almost picture it: a stream of one-hit wonders and forgotten boyband members staring at a YouTube video from Bryan Adams’ latest sold-out headline show, wondering what his secret is and pondering where it all went wrong for them.
So, what is his secret?
Is it the slicked-back hairdo? The Hollywood smile? Hell, is it the fact that the man just never seems to age?
To you, it could be any – or, indeed all – of those things. This is fine, and we can understand that. If you ask us, though, the secret to his longevity is that Bryan Adams knows how to make sure that each and every member of his live audience has the time of their lives at his shows.
His gig at Cornwall’s gorgeous Eden Project might not have been a laser-filled extravaganza, a special guest-filled supershow, or an all-out assault on the senses, but we can’t remember the last time we had quite so much fun at a concert. We sang, and we danced. We laughed out loud – oh, how we laughed. We closed our eyes when he played Heaven, and we listened to the sound of 6000 people singing the chorus at the top of their lungs.
There’s just something about Bryan Adams that’s indisputably jubilant, and that makes it almost impossible for you not to have a good time at one of his shows.
From the second he strides on stage and bursts into Do What Ya Gotta Do to the moment he strums the last chord of his two-hour set, the man is charm personified. Whether he’s talking us through stories from his thirty-year career, or warmly introducing each member of his band like they’re old friends, he never fails to bring a smile to the face of the gig-goer. The music, too, is obviously fantastic – Run To You, Summer Of ’69, and a special acoustic rendition of Elvis’s All Shook Up are highlights, but the entire set is delivered with enough energy and gusto to make even the most obscure of recent singles enjoyable for all.
So, if you ask us, the secret to Bryan Adams’ longevity isn’t that he’s written more stadium-filling pop/rock classics than you can shake a stick at.
It isn’t that he’s a genuinely warm individual, and it isn’t the fact that he’s still pumping out music that most artists thirty years younger than him would strive to create.
In our eyes, Bryan Adams’ secret is that he’s one of the most entertaining live performers we’ve seen in recent years. He’s energetic, and charismatic, and if his Eden Project set is anything to go by we’re not convinced that he’ll be slowing down any time soon. Go and see Bryan Adams if you get the chance – you won’t regret it.