Live Review: Bryan Adams @ Rogers Arena, Vancouver – June 16th 2012

My first concert was Bryan Adams. My sister was my chaperon and she was annoyed with me ‘cause I stood up and shook my ass in her face. 362 shows later, things haven’t changed. Tonight it felt like I was back in 1994 again, when I was just properly defining my musical tastes. I stood up and shook my ass to the songs that I grew up to, met with hostility of the elderly couple behind me who said, “Sit the fuck down kid.” I tried reasoning with them, even offered to move a few seats down, however, they were more interested in sitting with their arms crossed being mean to someone a 1/3rd of their age. Thankfully I was adopted for the night by another elderly couple whom wanted me to stand with them so that I could rock out fully. It’s Bryan fuckin’ Adams.

The last time Bryan played, the audience was more varied with the ages, this time around, it was a Buble soccer mom crowd with souvenirs catering to (note that the souvenirs were uglier than Buble’s).

There was a video screen backdrop, however, the pixilation was so horrible that it was way too amateur to be part of even Bryan’s stage get up. It was better to not have had any video backdrop and just have a few screens. The images that were displayed were poor and unimaginative. The most revolutionary thing was the re-play of the video “Do I Have To Say The Words.”

As for Bryan’s voice….playing 2.5 hours each night has defiantly taken a toll. Thankfully the show was mixed so most of these went unnoticed to the casual listener. He was able to hit most notes, however, had his moments when his voice cracked like a 13-year-old. If you’re at a Bryan Adams show, you’re not in it for the technical reasons (at least I am not), you’re in it for the rock organic vibe. Like Bono, he has a vocal pass with me.

The set list was the best set list that I have seen at a rock show in a long time. All the hits, 2.5 hours straight, nothing missed. Even some of the pseudo b-side hits struck a chord with me. I looked strange to everyone in a Marilyn Manson shirt singing all the lyrics perfectly, even more perfectly than the drunk girl who came up on stage to sing “Baby When You’re Gone.” It was the longest face palm I’d ever done in my life. What a jerk to make a fool of yourself and the song (she butchered the lyrics). Normally Bryan awards the singer backstage passes for the girl and her friends, this time he didn’t….that must say something. She was just a drunk embarrassing mess.

As for the soccer mom who ran up on stage to get Bryan’s attention, only to be followed by security…. Hope that your kids are proud. It amuses me how pathetic most 50-year-old women act at rock shows thinking that they’re 18, I didn’t even act that pathetic at shows when I was 18. I would never run up and jump on stage uninvited to be chased by security. Funny how the goth kid was more well-behaved.

Besides the hits-heavy set list, my favorite moments were between the songs when he spoke about Vancouver and his home town. He did more stage bantering at this show than at earlier stops on the tour. It made me feel proud to be Canadian. Most of the songs in the set list, especially in the beginning were songs written in Vancouver. This meant more coverage of the “Waking Up The Neighbors Material” including one of my favorite underplayed songs ,“Thought I’d Die and Gone to Heaven.”

There are a few things that makes me feel Canadian: Boyfriends abandoning plans with you for hockey, Tim Horton’s (before they sold themselves to an US company), Canadian Tire money, cold winters and of course Bryan Adams. I feel proud to be Canadian and at this show I realized, “Fuck, we Canadians rock!”.

  1. Can someone please tell me if “Can’t Stop this Thing We Started” was played ??

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