International megastar Bryan Adams filled Penticton’s South Okanagan Event Centre with music and memories Monday, Sept. 11, before a sold-out auditorium.
Yet for all the sophisticated visuals and lighting, the concert felt more like Adams invited a few thousands friends for a casual jam session in a really big garage.
Juno and Grammy award winner, as well as three-time Oscar nominee for songwriting for film, the prolific Adams was able to fit in many – but far from all – of his hits from the past 40 years, over two-and-a-half hours during the local stop of the So Happy it Hurts tour.
The 63-year-old demonstrated the same electricity and passion one recalls from his 1983 break-out tour, Cuts Like a Knife.
From all corners of the venue, concert-goers waved the iconic album of the same name, hoping for autographs.
There was no tarnish whatsoever on that recognizable and unique tone, which can only be described as silky rust whether he is delivering solid rock or a soft ballad.
He certainly didn’t forget any lyrics, although it would have hardly mattered because the entire stadium was singing along for the whole show.
That’s something only legends get to experience.
Adams sometimes let the audience start – a simple familiar chord would set it off – and he sometimes let the crowd finish. Other times it seemed as if he was singing back up and enjoying the ride.
Several times he signalled for the lights to go up, so he could chat with fans who were screaming wildly for his attention.
He handed guitar picks to two young men, and invited a woman onstage who wanted his autograph on her shoulder blade so she could have it transformed to a tattoo.
Adams complied, using a Sharpie.
He also strongly encouraged dancing and even twerking.
The night wrapped with Adams taking requests from the audience, and then miming that he had to go because he needed to eat.
The Canadian icon was solidly backed up by a team of gobsmacking talent. Keith Scott, Adams’ lead guitarist since 1976, performed with something akin to string wizardry.
Pat Steward shone behind the drums, while Sol Walker on bass and Gary Breit on keyboards blended seamlessly into the magic.
This week he is also scheduled to appear in Kamloops and Prince George, before taking the tour to Alberta.
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