3Arena, Dublin, 30th June 2022
There are many people who still haven’t forgiven Bryan Adams for the song Everything I Do (I Do It for You), his mega-smash hit from 1991 that spent 16 weeks at number one and was played so frequently that it became like a form of Chinese water torture for some. Clearly, none of these people were at the 3Arena on Monday night as the Canadian singer-songwriter was greeted with rapturous cheers at 8.20pm as he took to the stage on his So Happy It Hurts Tour. Dressed simply in black and with just his band and a giant screen behind him, this wasn’t a show full of gimmicks and pyrotechnics. Rather it was a celebration of his back catalogue and the audience was here for it! Starting with the very appropriate Kick Ass, Brian exuded an energy that never waned. As he went into Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, the crowd was already going wild, and I thought that he may peak too soon. After nearly 50 years in the business, he has an extensive back catalogue and he packed in as many tracks as he realistically could into his 2 hours and 10 minutes on stage. Ballads such as Heaven, Have you Ever Really Loved a Woman and the aforementioned Everything I Do were punctuated with his high octane rock hits such as 18 Till I Die, The Only Thing that Looks Good On Me Is You and his breakthrough track Summer of 69.
He seemed very relaxed as he exchanged banter with the exuberant crowd but when, around halfway through the show, he asked (seriously) if they had any requests I thought it could be a big mistake. Sure enough, the crowd started chanting for his classic hit Run To You and while he admitted he was saving it for the end he gamely performed it leaving me wondering how he was now going to finish the show. He also played some other audience
requests including One Night Love Affair and Please Forgive Me which gave the show a real sense of spontaneity, while also highlighting his talent as he veered from his setlist without hesitation.
Returning to his planned songs he tore through another selection of hits as the audience sang along (I imagine there were many hoarse voices the next morning) before bidding goodnight after Somebody.
However, the crowd weren’t going to let him off that easily. After thunderous chants, including a chorus of Ole Ole Ole he returned to the stage. But since he had already sang his planned encore song I couldn’t help but wonder what was he to do. My answer came as he broke into a song called These Are the Moments Which Make Up My Life about the simplicities of day to day existence which saw the audience swaying along. He then attached a harmonica around his neck. and led the crowd in an acoustic version of Whiskey In the Jar (which has become something of a staple for visiting rockers) sans band. He followed that with his ballad Straight From the Heart before ending with an acoustic version of his song All For Love (which he originally recorded with Sting and Rod Stewart). It was a very unusual encore but proved perfect as the crowd departed the arena buzzing with the excitement of the night and singing his songs on the Luas home. A lot of bad things may have come out of lockdowns but one good thing is shows like this where artists are releasing two years of pent up energy and Bryan definitely made the most of being back on a stage. This was a brilliantly energetic show full of singalong classics and if they could the audience would have cheerfully listened to him all night.
Can’t Stop This Thing We Started
Shine a Light
Go Down Rockin
It’s Only Love
On the Road
You Belong to Me
I’ve Been Looking for You
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
Here I Am
When You’re Gone
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
Back to You
18 til I Die
Summer of ’69
Run to You
One Night Love Affair
Please Forgive Me
Cuts Like a Knife
So Happy It Hurts
These Are the Moments That Make Up My Life
Whiskey in the Jar
Straight From the Heart
All for Love