Kids just wanna rock . . whatever their age
YOU know you’ve reached a certain age when you go downstairs ready for a concert and ask: “Do I look ridiculous in these?” of your husband and father.
The outfit is a silk blouse over leather jeans and ankle boots, with a long cardi to make it less bad from behind. The vibe is “Stella Gibson goes to a gig”. The husband knows better than to comment; the dad screws up his face only for a second before confirming it’s “fine, especially as you’re going to a concert”.
I needn’t have worried. The arena was set out theatre-style, with rows of seats, although we didn’t spend much time in them. My leather trews were not an issue in an audience in which I was comfortably in the youngest 10%. But readers, make no mistake: we rocked it.
I grew up with Reckless, which was released in 1984, when I was (gulp) five. My dad had a band and they played some of Bryan Adams’ best-known songs, so I fell in love with the likes of Summer of ‘69 and Kids Wanna Rock from that place between sleep and waking where, as a child, music seems magical.
Tonight that album was given a superb airing – not Kids Wanna Rock, sadly, but wonderful outings for This Time and Somebody.
Run to You – harsh, romantic, painful – was played early on, and got everyone on their feet. Summer of ‘69 tore the roof off, the lovely videotape of those coming-of-age lyrics tattooed on skin making it all the more poignant.
A special mention for Heaven. I fell in love with this song as a teenager (who had her first kiss to it at a Bryan Adams concert in 1994) and, while I feel differently about its lyrics today, it’s a powerful love song capable of silencing a thousands-strong crowd. There was plenty of rock too – from Keith Scott’s awesome guitar solo on It’s Only Love, to a belting 18 Till I Die, through to The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You, but a satisfying mix of acoustic numbers too. When You’re Gone was performed like that, and Everything I Do (I Do It For You) was wonderful.
The encore treated us to an acoustic Straight From The Heart, which Bryan introduced with a moving reference to his mum. And then the Arena lit up for a gorgeous rendition of All For Love.
Bryan Adams is one of the finest showmen I’ve had the pleasure of watching during these (almost) 40 years. Tonight’s tour was called the Ultimate, but don’t stop gigging any time soon, Bryan: surely the best is yet to come. HELEN DALBY