Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Bryan Adams live in Athens November 2019

When Bryan Adams's most successful album "Reckless" was released in late 1984 and became a huge hit in 1985, we thought of him as "The Canadian Bruce". The parallels with Bruce Springsteen were many. Bruce Springsteen's most successful album "Born In The USA" was released in 1984 and became a huge hit in 1985. I had seen Bruce 11 times until 2013 but I had yet to see Bryan. So, when back in 2014, Bryan Adams was touring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Reckless, and I simultaneously received an invitation from a fellow Bruce bloodbrother (hello, peter4run) to visit him in Stratford-Upon-Avon in order to go and see him in nearby Birmingham, I jumped at the chance. However, I never thought that he would come to Greece. But he did finally come 5 years later (last year in 2019). And I went to see him. Little did I know that this would be the last concert in Greece by a major international artist. I bought my ticket once I had made sure that I wasn't going to be working on that day. It was an electronic ticket which means that you download and print it (or you store it on your mobile) and its barcode is scanned upon entering the venue. The strange thing that happened though is that one day before the concert I received an email with a replacement e-ticket having a different barcode. Nobody knows why this happened.

I arrived at the Olympic Arena quite early and so I was able to get very close to the front of the stage, whereas in 2014 I was sitting in the stands. There was no support and there was a long-running video with animation and effects of Bryan on the big screen while we were waiting for the concert to begin.

He began with "Last Night On Earth", but it was with the second song that we realized that the real concert had actually started: "Somebody". Yes, we were in "Reckless" territory. This wasn't the Reckless Anniversary Tour of course, but there were still quite a few songs from that album played. There were three from his latest album "Shine A Light" which is quite good by the way, especially the title track. The third song however was "Can't Stop This Thing We Started" and we were thankful that it was played so early, as we were hoping that the guy who was holding up a sign requesting that song would finally put it down, thus enabling us to have a better view of the stage.

The obligatory "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" was naturally there, but the special surprise was something else. Bryan and his guitarist treated us to an acoustic rendition of "Zorba's Dance" which served as the intro to "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman".

And then there was the request section. People from the audience asked for a specific song and Bryan played a short version of it. (He had to keep explaining to people that they needn't worry and he would actually play "Summer Of '69" towards the end of his set). Anyway, I was granted the two songs that I wanted : "There Will Never Be Another Tonight" and "Hearts On Fire". I was especially lucky with the latter since he rarely plays songs from "Into The Fire" which is considered a "difficult" album.

Finally, he did of course play "Summer Of 69" at the end of his normal set, but there was still another surprise in store, at least for me: "I Fought The Law". We went crazy on that one. OK, if I had watched his Wembley 1996 DVD before the concert, I would have known that he does that often.

The encore and the concert ended with "Straight From The Heart" and "All For Love". We all went home happy. To this day this has been the last arena concert in Greece by a major artist...

01. The Last Night On Earth
02. Somebody
03. Can't Stop This Thing We Started
04. Run To You
05. Shine A Light
06. Heaven
07. Go Down Rockin'
08. It's Only Love
09. Cloud Number Nine
10. You Belong To Me
11. Zorba Dance / Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman
12. Here I Am
13. When You're Gone
14. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
15. Back To You
16. The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You
17. Cuts Like A Knife
18. 18 Til I Die
19. Hearts On Fire
20. There Will Never Be Another Tonight
21. Kids Wanna Rock
22. Please Forgive Me
23. Summer Of '69
24. I Could Get Used To This
25. I Fought The Law
26. Straight From The Heart
27. All For Love

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