Bryan Adams Lights Up The Night At Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater
Iconic Artist Brings His Shine A Light Tour To The Queen City
Growing up in Buffalo, New York, I was just a stone’s throw away from our northern neighbor Canada and some of my fondest memories included a trip “over the border.” My friends and I would go to hang out on the fun side of Niagara Falls and enjoyed many concerts over the years as well. Canada had the best hockey teams, the best beer (I’m a Molson’s girl), and Bryan Adams. With his 1983 album Cuts Like A Knife, Adams quickly rose to the top with the ballad “Straight From The Heart” becoming a staple at every high school dance and couples skate at the local roller rink. Rather than soak up his success, Bryan quickly followed up with the Reckless album, spawning six hit singles including the nostalgic rocker “Summer of ‘69” and the epic ballad “Heaven” which I’m pretty sure was the Senior Prom theme at my school that year. Over the years he has gone out to release hit after hit, writing songs for movie soundtracks and claiming one industry accolade after another including Grammy awards, Juno awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On March 1st, Adams released his newest album Shine A Light, his first in over five years and in celebration of his upcoming 60th birthday. This past Saturday night, for one night only, Bryan Adams brought some of his magic to Charlotte as he shined ever so brightly in front of a capacity crowd at the CMCUA.
The crowd was a bit slow filtering in as there was a nasty storm brewing but the show got off only a few minutes late. There is no opening act on this tour, it is all Bryan Adams and his wonderfully talented backing band. Before the show began, the giant LED screen at the rear of the stage lit up with different images and got the crowd involved by asking them to Instagram their requests.
An announcement was also made that for every ticket sold, a tree would be planted as Adams is not only an extraordinary musician but a very giving philanthropist. When the lights dimmed and Adams walked out holding his guitar high in the air, the venue exploded with excitement. From that point on, it was a night of musical magic that nobody will ever forget. After all these years, Adams still sounds phenomenal vocally as he ran through hit after hit.
The members of his band are all exceptional players and lead guitarist Keith Scott is extremely underrated, that man can jam! The music is timeless and classic but it wasn’t all just a trip down memory lane. Bryan’s new album is nothing if not brilliant and maintains a fresh, modern feel. Working with Ed Sheeran on the record probably didn’t hurt either. Through it all, Adams did a superb job at engaging with the audience urging them to dance and sing along.
There was one woman up front at the barricade who must have been spending a lot of time on her phone and Bryan said to her “you don’t have to text me. I’m right here” before giving her the call me sign. The night was full of humorous incidents and expert showmanship. Adams and Scott even pulled off a synchronized jump! There was a moment that could have gone bad in a hurry as one fan kept obnoxiously ringing a cowbell until Adams finally encouraged him to give up the bell and he brought it on to the stage. Mission accomplished! For future reference to all concert attendees, please leave the cowbells at home. After a rousing version of “Summer of ‘69”, Adams switched to an acoustic guitar for a moving version of “Here I Am” before taking the love to a new level with “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” which had couples swaying and slow dancing along. One of my favorite songs of the night was “The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You.”
It just had a cool vibe to it and Adams and the band shook their booties for the crowd. “18 til I Die” proved that you’re only as old as you feel and everyone in the crowd at CMCUA got the pleasure of feeling young again, even if for just one night. At this point of the show, Adams took some request from the audience, including one from the cowbell guy, which was a nice touch and something that many artists no longer do. Closing out the regular set was “Brand New Day” with the LED screen full of images of Helena Bonham Carter and the audience not wanting it to be over.
As the stage darkened, Adams only left for a minute before coming back out and shouting, “you didn’t think it was time to go home yet, did you? What followed was a four-song encore highlighted by a solo acoustic performance of “Straight From The Heart” that had more than a few shedding a tear. The concert was over two hours long and Bryan Adams played an amazing 28 songs that spanned his magnificent career. If you get the chance, do not miss the Shine A Light Tour when it comes to a city near you.
Click here for tour dates and information.