Live Review: Bryan Adams + Amy Macdonald - Sydney Entertainment Centre (19.04.13)

At his massive Sydney Entertainment Centre concert, the timeless vocals of Bryan Adams did more than just make thousands of middle-aged women forget they even had a husband, but gave us a history lesson and a reminder of just how deeply entrenched Adams has become in the realm of pop rock. With a packed set-list of 26 of his most classic songs, we were treated to a stellar performance from one of the most successful rock singer-songwriters of all time.

The very special honour of support went to Scottish singer Amy Macdonald, who did a fantastic job at calming the excited crowd down and stamping a firm impression on the packed-out arena. No stranger to popularity - with her own share of top 10 records – Amy was a pleasure to listen to, with songs full of wit and gorgeous melodies.

A large screen displayed a black and white, revolving megaphone once the lights finally dimmed and Bryan Adams modestly strolled onto the stage, guitar in hand. Adams took a moment to soak in the wall-to-wall cheers before kicking things off with ‘House Arrest,’ obviously expecting the crowd to know every single word – which they did – as the crowd were often left to shout the chorus back at the stage.

Bryan Adams was perfectly in sync with his band, showing great musicianship and guitar work while iconic songs like ‘Here I Am’ and ‘Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman,’ the latter which was assisted by a sweet Spanish guitar.

There was little in the way of crowd interaction for the first half of the set, but the crowd reaction was hard to ignore with Bryan joking around with the crowd later in the set as he informed us that his seminal album Waking Up the Neighbours has passed its 20 year anniversary.

A string of his best-known hits started with ‘Summer of 69,’ and it was performed so well that the over-saturation the song has suffered from nearly every pub in the world was instantly forgotten.

A stripped down segment started with the band playing on make-shift drum kits consisting of pots and pans, as if Adams was busking up on stage, as such we enjoyed a special rendition of songs ‘If You Wanna Leave Me’ and ‘Touch the Hand’ before a return to conventional instruments brought with it the famous ballad ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.’

His Sporty Spice-duet ‘When You’re Gone’ was also a distinctive moment in the concert, as he selected a random crowd member to come up on stage and take Mel C’s place, and she surprisingly did a decent job.

It’s hard to pinpoint where the peak of this set was, with so many great moments but the classic ‘Please Forgive Me’ definitely stands out as a highlight, Bryan proving any criticisms wrong with his masculine voice sailing over the venue, and causing most to stand up in awe.

Surprising set closer ‘All For Love’ – his popular duet with Sting and Rod Stewart - cued the band to leave Bryan on his own, letting his voice soar even higher as he seemed to pour everything he had into the ballad. It’s refreshing to see such a veteran act still give his fans exactly what they came for, and without even showing his age.

Set List
House Arrest
Here I Am
Kids Wanna Rock
Can’t Stop This Thing We Started
Could Number Nine
Thoughts I’d Died and Gone to Heaven
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
Hearts on Fire
Rescue Me
18 Till I Die
Back to You
Summer of 69
If you Wanna Leave Me (Can I Come Too?)
Touch the Hand
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
Cuts like A Knife
When You’re Gone
Please Forgive Me
It’s Only Love
The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You
Run to You
There Will Never Be Another Tonight
Straight from the Heart
All for Love