Monday 5 December 2016

Review: Please forgive me, but Adams just ain’t cool

Rock : Bryan Adams, 3Arena, Dublin

Published 13/05/2016 | 02:30

Canadian singer Bryan Adams.
Canadian singer Bryan Adams.

On August 26, 2000, Bryan Adams headlined a huge concert at Slane Castle alongside Macy Gray, Muse, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Spice Girl Melanie C, and Moby. His popularity hasn’t exactly prospered in the 21st century, as there are quite a few empty seats on a miserable and wet school night on the quays.

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Adams announces that the Dublin stopover for his Get Up! tour will feature old favourites alongside new material. This is exactly where it falters. Don’t Even Try is a turgid Beatleseque pub rock number. For the most part, anything from Adams’ most recent album is dull and uninspiring.

To be fair, Adams looks good for his 56 years, even though his material is not as well preserved.

The harsh truth is for all his huge hit singles and all the ubiquitous airplay for the ear worm that is (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Adams never authored anything approaching a stone cold classic album.

Critics have always been unkind to Adams. 18 Til I Die was somewhat cruelly dismissed as a midlife crisis album, but there seems to be very little emotion behind all the posturing and soft rock pomposity.

There is no doubt whatsoever that he has a capacity to entertain. Precious few artists have an anthem of the calibre of Summer of ’69 to pull out of the locker and get a crowd on their feet, but it is matched with visuals of its lyrics scrawled across the body of a topless model.

Bryan Adams was never cool and never will be. Even if he recorded an album produced by LCD Soundsystem and featuring vocals from Thom Yorke and PJ Harvey, he’d still be a laughing stock, and there’s a better chance of a fleet of pigs flying down the Liffey.

Adams is a slick and solid live operator, and when he plays the hits, a crowd pleaser. 

However, the Canadian does not belong in the pantheon of modern pop and rock greats, even though he can muster a massive sing-along on a damp Tuesday night, and impressively rouse a crowd to remember the best years of their lives.

But then again, so could a karaoke machine.

Irish Independent

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