The crowd packed the beautiful Dickies Arena and they filmed every second of Doris, the inflatable car, hovering overhead. They began cheering as soon as the lights went low and got loud when they saw Bryan Adams ascend the stage in the dark. They roared when the lights returned and he stood center stage and yelled, "Let there be guitar!" And there was!
The rocking began with the first notes of "Kick Ass" to set the tone for the night. He immediately engaged the fans. He had set up two extra mics on the stage so he could move freely and used this to prompt the fans to the left, in the center and to the right to sing along, which they did with "Somebody." Adams sounded great and looked fit while decked out in jeans and tennis shoes. Unfortunately, he made his only faux pas of the evening as he said he was glad to be back in Dallas, TX. The Ft. Worth faithful loyally booed, but it was good-natured booing.
At times Adams, guitarist Keith Scott and bassist Solomon Walker stayed in their initial positions, at times they all gathered around one mic to sing harmony and at times they got together to jump and excite the crowd. They played hit pop songs, rockers, a little country, covered an oldie and brought the thunder on power ballads. Adams put together a show that entertained, kept the fans engaged and continually raised the bar. Putting together an excellent show is an art form in and of itself, and the Grammy Award winner was masterful at it.
"One Night Love Affair," another hit song, turned into a singalong, while "Shine The Light," starting out as a tribute to a friend and then turning into a universal song about loss, brought out the flashlights while he was bathed in red light from above. Adams didn't even sing the first verse of "Heaven" as he instructed the crowd to sing along with the slightly altered guitar melody that better fit a rock show. Continuing with tributes, "It's Only Love," his duet with the recently passed Tina Turner, turned into a kick-ass jam thanks to lead guitarist Scott.
Seeing people dancing in the aisles, and suggesting that the guys get down by twerking, the band delivered two upbeat and uptempo Rockabilly songs. Walker brought out the stand-up bass to authenticate the sound before they returned to their rocking roots with BA exploring all areas of the stage and having the audience eating out of the palm of his hands. Garry Breit on keys got to solo and shine and did so admirably.
The ballad "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" was, naturally, another singalong as the true-blue fans knew every word. They changed tempo again for the huge hit "Summer Of 69" as they crisscrossed the stage, jumped and danced away. In a great move, BA saw a young kid dancing in the stands and brought him up to the stage to give him a guitar pick. As usual, Adams took a request during the show to play a deeper cut from one of his 18 studio albums. BA turned the mic around to the audience and prompted them to sing "Cuts Like A Knife." The cohesive band gathered around Mickey Curry on drums, with his bright green cymbals, and jammed to extend the hit song.
They brought out Doris the Car again to float around during "Run To You" with its offensive bass lick before thanking the audience for a great night. The raucous cheers wouldn't let him leave the stage, though, so he sang a Frankie Valli cover of "Too Good To Be True." Even the youngsters in the audience knew it and sang at the top of their collective lungs. Another ballad in "Straight From The Heart" brought out the packed-house choir to provide lead vocals, backing vocals and harmony. Alone on the stage with his acoustic guitar, Adams then finished the night with "All For One," the hit song he sang with Sting and Rod Stewart.
The show lasted almost two hours with 25 songs and the crowd would have stayed all night. Again, he slightly altered some melodies to make it more of a rock show, a move that was appreciated by all. Adams also mastered the art of putting together a show that ebbed and flowed perfectly with emotions and energy throughout, then leaving the listener spent, but feeling great while leaving the beautiful venue. It was abundantly evident why he has sold over 75 million albums.
Catch them as they continue the So Happy It Hurts Tour. Special thanks to Rebecca Silvers of Live Nation and the staff of Dickies Arena for making this such an easy and pleasurable experience.