2010 The Charleston Gazette Review: Bryan Adams Concert

2010 The Charleston Gazette Review: Bryan Adams Concert


By: V.C. McCabe

Bryan Adams brought his “Bare Bones Tour” to The Clay Center’s Maier Foundation Performance Hall Tuesday night for a solo acoustic performance of songs spanning the past three decades of his auspicious musical career.

Inspired by his experience with “MTV’s Unplugged” series in the 1990’s, Adams has given his best-known pop hits and power ballads an acoustic makeover for the tour. The Grammy-winning Canadian singer-songwriter played all of his big chartbusters as well as some less familiar songs from his repertoire.

Unlike other 1980s relics who have returned to the road in hopes of capitalizing on the nostalgia of their fans, neither Adams’ talent nor his ability to work a crowd have diminished with age.

The fresh, minimal arrangements and sparse stage setting were well suited to his raspy, distinctive voice and down to earth demeanor. Dressed in blue jeans and accompanied only by his guitar, a harmonica and occasionally a piano player, Adams seemed very relaxed and friendly with the local audience.

His interactive show had the crowd clapping, stomping, singing along and calling out to him as if he were an old friend. His music also encouraged a man in the front row to propose to his girlfriend and Adams dedicated a song to the happy couple.

Among the crowd-pleasers of the night were new, stripped down renditions of “Straight From the Heart” and the title track from 1983’s “Cuts Like a Knife” album, “Summer of ’69,” “Heaven,” and “Run to You” from 1984’s incredibly popular “Reckless,” and “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” from the film “Don Juan DeMarco.”

His emotive rendering of “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” the Oscar-nominated, international smash from the “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” soundtrack, provided one of the more captivating moments of the concert.

Also of note were the ballads “Do I Have To Say The Words” from “Waking Up The Neighbors” and “Please Forgive Me,” a bonus track on the 1993 “So Far So Good” compilation. The latter became his second most triumphant single after the record-breaking “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.”

Adams’ latest release, “Bares Bones,” features live recordings culled from tour dates earlier this year. He allowed his fans to choose the final track listing for the album via Twitter and his official website.

The seasoned musician has said of the new album, “I like the way the songs carry themselves warts and all, bare-boned, without the original arrangements of a full band or an orchestra.” The same sentiment applies perfectly to his splendid, unembellished live performance at The Clay Center.

Published by V. C. McCabe

V.C. McCabe is an Appalachian poet and the author of Ophelia (Femme Salvé Books, 2023) and Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019). She has edited for Barren Magazine, the New International Voices series (Ice Floe Press), and Frontier Poetry. Her work appears in ekphrastic exhibits and journals worldwide, including EPOCH, Poet Lore, and Prairie Schooner. Her website is vcmccabe.com.

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