SIOUX CITY | How many artists can offer up all the cuts from an album they made 30 years earlier?
Damn few, but the conceit worked nicely for Bryan Adams who closed his 30th anniversary “Reckless” tour Friday night at the Tyson Events Center.
Curated down to the last video, the show was a step back in time, a glimpse at Adams then – and now. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t missed a beat in three decades. That raspy voice that wrapped itself around a love song still has the ache we warmed to back in 1984.
Dressed in black and playing on a spare set with a huge video screen to help tell the story, the 55-year-old Canadian barely paused in his trek to the past.
Saying this was his last time to do the whole album on stage (“unless we do it again in 10 years”), he also offered songs from the era to provide context.
Interestingly, the videos were in black and white, helping further the conceit.
Tina Turner’s recorded voice was used on “It’s Only Love”; younger views of Adams popped up here, there and everywhere.
An acclaimed photographer, Adams had the aesthete well in hand. This was a concept that worked.
The audience, meanwhile, joined him to sing “Heaven,” warmed to the chart toppers, embraced one that he said no one gave two ----- about back in the day, and went wild with “Summer of ’69,” one of those seminal songs of the era that gave his guitar-meister Keith Scott some of the night’s love.
(A bit of context: “Reckless” was Adams’ fourth studio album. It sold 12 million copies around the world and charted six singles, a rare feat.)
Before closing out the “Reckless” portion, Adams offered an acoustic version of “Let Me Down Easy,” a song that was supposed to be part of “Reckless,” but wasn’t included on the album. He said he wrote it for Stevie Nicks (even though he didn’t know her).
In the second half, he rolled through the “other” hits, including an extended version of his Oscar-nominated “Everything I Do, I Do It for You.” The crowd loved it more than the Academy, sometimes beating him to the words.
Using live video (and color for the second half), he searched the crowd for a “wild” woman who could join him for “If You Wanna Be Bad, Ya Gotta Be Good.” The move was a great one, just right for an audience that was in his pocket. The woman chosen, meanwhile, was a super dancer (and great sport), playing to every nuance in his lyrics.
In color, Adams looked a bit like David Beckham with his hair slicked back.
Clearly, though, he’s an original.
To show there’s even more in the well, Adams offered “Brand New Day,” a cut from “Get Up,” the album he’s releasing in October. It’s a bouncy song that brings out another dimension and emotion. (Helena Bonham Carter stars in the video he filmed to accompany it. And, yes, the video is in black and white.)
Giving the audience a great concept – and an even better show – the veteran rocker made two hours together zip by.
Sort of like 30 years.