Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary - June 20, 2012

GERRY KROCHAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:22 AM ET

CALGARY - The showbiz adage “always leave them wanting more” was out the window Wednesday evening at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Bryan Adams delivered all the hits and then some during his no-opener, 30-song, two-hour-plus, fan-friendly set in front of a boisterous throng of nearly 13,000 punters.

On a well-lit stage and dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved black shirt, Adams launched into House Arrest, Somebody, Here I Am and Kids Wanna Rock to kickstart his trip down memory lane.

Indeed, the kids are now 50, but they still do want to rock.

And what better reason than the 20th anniversary of the release of Waking Up The Neighbours?

The expected softballs and radio balladry such as Thought I’d Died And Gone To Heaven, Do I Have To Say The Words? and of course (Everything I Do) I Do It For You would be a given on this night.

But the 52-year-old Canadian icon flexed a little muscle through the infectious pop-rock of Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, 18 ’Til I Die, Back To You and Summer Of ’69.

If you’re between 30 and 50 years of age and born in Canada, these songs, in one way or another, have become part of the fabric of your life.

From high school dances and pop and classic rock radio to grocery stores and elevator Muzak … you know these songs so well because, well, you just can’t escape them.

Adams’ band of guitarist Keith Scott, bassist Norm Fisher, keyboardist Gary Breit and drummer Mickey Curry are about as good as it gets in pop and roll. And each allows Adams the freedom to ply his craft as a singer-guitarist and fill his role as entertainer.

Also worth noting is this show was 100% live. No DAT, no bull and no mysterious strings, orchestral manoeuvres or multi-layered backing vocals mysteriously falling from the heavens. Authenticity counts — and it has become something not to be taken for granted in 2012.

The combo continued to lean into it with Cuts Like A Knife, before being joined onstage by a young lady from the audience who filled in for Spice Girl Mel C on When You’re Gone.

The female-heavy contingent swooned and sang during Heaven and Please Forgive Me, but the evening was far from over. The hits just kept a-comin.’ The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You, segued into Run To You, which sent the crowd bonkers.

The ’80s nugget, from the breakthrough Reckless, defined the beginning of the MuchMusic–era and perhaps a first kiss at an elementary school dance — or not. (Generally speaking, and certainly not speaking from personal experience, girls don’t like to kiss boys with neck acne.)

In any case, a solo acoustic foray featuring Straight From The Heart and All For Love (the collaboration featuring Adams, Sting and Rod Stewart) brought the evening to a close and sent them to the exits with smiles which could only indicate a successful and welcome trip back in time.


Photos