It was truly a night to remember for the legions of Bryan Adams’ fans that thronged the Malawati Indoor Stadium in Shah Alam on 21 January 2017.
Right from the start of the concert at about 8.50 pm, Adams sang the hits he’s famous for, as well as a few songs from his 13th album, Get Up, which was released in 2015.
Although Adams is 57 years old, his trademark gravelly voice and his guitar-picking skills remain as powerful as when he first rose to stardom back in the ‘80s, when this writer was still in primary school.
It has apparently been more than 20 years since fans of Bryan Adams in Malaysia saw him in a live performance here. In his banter with the spectators, he joked that the last time he came here was “in 1920”, eliciting a guffaw from the listeners.
The largely enthusiastic crowd, especially the ones at the stage, got up and moved to his popular rock songs such as “Summer of ’69”, “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started”, “It’s Only Love” and “When You’re Gone”.
But it’s the sentimental rock ballads that really stoked the crowd. A roaring shout of delight and applause broke through the stadium hall as the starting riff of “Heaven” was heard, and a great majority of the audience knew the lyrics by heart as they sang along wholeheartedly.
The same fervour was shown when Adams belted out “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” (from Don Juan DeMarco), “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) and “All for Love” (from The Three Musketeers).
Thankfully, it’s not all nostalgia and romance. Adams showed a sensually rollicking side with renditions of two rock and roll classics — “All Shook Up” (by Elvis Presley) and “C’mon Everybody” (by Eddie Cochran) — as well as an original song titled "If Ya Wanna Be Bad - Ya Gotta Be Good".
The latter, coupled with a very responsive duo of female ‘dancers’ from the crowd, is most definitely one of the highlights of the night.
Adams’ songwriting abilities haven’t waned either. The Get Up tour performance gave his fans a taste of what’s in the new album, and it didn’t disappoint. It is heavily influenced by ‘60s style rock and roll, and among the songs from the new album in the night’s set list were “Brand New Day”, “Don’t Even Try” and “You Belong to Me”.
Al in all, it was a rock-solid performance comprising 30 songs including six songs during the encore session.
A number of his devotees attended the concert with their children in tow, most of whom might just become fans too. As long as Bryan Adams is singing, there will be a new generation of admirers of his music and performances in many years to come.