Bluesfest Review: Bryan Adams provides heart-felt performance in return to old stomping grounds

Bryan Adams performs to a packed home on opening night time of Bluesfest Thursday (July 5, 2018). Julie Oliver/Postmedia

Julie Oliver / Postmedia

RBC Ottawa Bluesfest
Thursday, July 5
Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams proved you possibly can all the time go house once more, delivering a string of smash hits in a raucous opening night time set that had the packed all-ages Bluesfest crowd up and on their toes.

With his Ultimate tour rolling by the capital he as soon as known as house, the 58-year-old Kingston-born, Ottawa-raised Adams took day trip to inform just a few tall tales about his time in the town.

“Every time I come back to Ottawa I’m always reminded by somebody I went to school here, I lived here,” he mentioned with an eye-roll. “I received by the entire day (Thursday) with out anyone saying that to me. Then we received right here (to the competition grounds) and there was a cop holding individuals again in the road. I mentioned, ‘I’m singing tonight, can we get by?’

“And he seems at me and says, ‘Oh yeah, I know you’re singing, we went to college collectively.’”

Yes, it could have been awhile since a teenage Adams roamed the halls of Colonel By Secondary, but it surely appears his native trustworthy haven’t forgotten.

Looking spry in a black T-shirt and working the size of the stage rocking his trademark Stratocaster, Adams launched right into a full two-hour biggest hits package deal with Ultimate Love, a brand new tune from his 2017 best-of compilation.

Perhaps the closest Adams ever received to penning a protest music — “Seems like the free world ain’t so free no more” — Adams appears bent on proving himself as this nation’s final guitar-slinging singer, even after reaching the profession hallmark of 75 million album gross sales as Canada’s top-selling male singer-songwriter.

Bryan Adams performs to a packed home on opening night time of Bluesfest Thursday (July 5, 2018). Julie Oliver/Postmedia

Julie Oliver /


It was simple to see why with followers of nearly all ages demographic transferring to the sturdy beat because the band aptly broke into Can’t Stop This Thing We Started from his blockbuster 1991 Waking Up the Neighbours.

The accompanying video montage confirmed the everyman Adams casually strolling by the Rideau Centre shaking palms and waving to adoring followers.

With the followers exhibiting Adams their “love that could never die,” the All-Canadian rocker rewarded them by dispensing the long-lasting guitar riff to Run To You, the unforgettable lead-off single from his 1984 smash Reckless.

He tried out some crowd participation on 2015’s Go Down Rockin’, which didn’t fairly pan out on the new-ish materials, however followers had no bother dealing with the lyrics as soon as Adams returned to extra acquainted turf with Heaven.

He merely stood again from the microphone along with his acoustic guitar and let the followers belt out the opening verse earlier than resuming his duties to permit the in the gang their first slow-dance of the headlining set.

The balladeering didn’t final lengthy, as Adams proposed to flip Lebreton Flats into the “biggest dance party in Ottawa.”

“I know you’re packed in like sardines, but let’s do this Ottawa,” he mentioned over the new rockabilly of You Belong To Me.

The largest cheer of the night time, after all, was reserved for the instantly-recognizable opening chords of Summer of ’69, which he adopted up with one other “little Ottawa story” about shopping for one his first actual six-strings down on Bank Street.

“Back in about 1972 when I was 12-years old, there used to be pawn shops all along Bank Street, and back then that’s where you would go to buy a guitar. That’s where I bought one of my first electric guitars,” Adams mentioned with a large grin. “And if you can believe it, I still have the sucker.”

Adams delighted the followers with a string of hits from each decade, with Here I Am sung half in French for the locals, an solo acoustic rendition of When You’re Gone as he fought off the noise bleed from a competing stage, the ability ballad (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, and a gritty blues quantity dusted off particularly for the Bluesfest present with If You Wanna Be Bad, You Gotta Be Good, that includes a gaggle of “hot dancers” handpicked from the gang and gyrating to the groove.

“That’s Ottawa,” he joked. “You ask for one hot girl, you get six!”

Bryan Adams (left, along with his bass participant) performs to a packed home on opening night time of Bluesfest Thursday (July 5, 2018). Julie Oliver/Postmedia

Julie Oliver /


He received again to enterprise with megahits Back To You, Somebody and Cuts Like a Knife earlier than taking considerably of a slow-lane detour for his prolonged encore.

Returning to the stage with out the companies of his crack band, Adams spun yarns between stripped-down covers of I Fought the Law and Whiskey in a Jar, main to the night’s most tender second.

Adams thanked his dad and mom for the assist they gave him on his fledgling profession. Plucking the opening strains of Straight From the Heart, Adams devoted the music to his father, who labored for 30 years in Ottawa as a civil servant, and to his 90-year-old mom.

An emotional Adams informed the gang his father had handed away simply 10 days earlier, and his mom had just lately suffered a stroke.

“Thanks to my parents,” he mentioned. “Thanks for the chance.”

It was a performance that really got here straight from the guts.

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