“It’s difficult to play all the songs I want,” Bryan Adams told us, midway through a set that managed to cram in 30 songs over more than two hours. “I have 13 albums, I can’t remember half of them.”
Bryan Adams | Hydro, Glasgow | Rating: ***
It’s tempting to say that most of his audience might remember even less of his work, but that’s clearly not how this relationship works. Despite their similarly earthy roots, Adams is no Springsteen; he doesn’t have a back catalogue to be pored over in evangelical detail, but rather a bunch of familiar pop hits that inspire nostalgic appreciation and even a little dancing.
The highlights of a near 40-year career were wheeled out here, in one of those sets that might fairly be described as offering fans their money’s worth. From the dependably moody Run to You, to the jolly strut of Summer of ’69 and The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me is You, and the epically overplayed Everything I Do (I Do It For You), its hits were greeted with warm applause rather than euphoria.
Adams, well-preserved at 56, and his four-piece band were dressed in a matching uniform of jeans, suit jacket and casually open-necked shirt, and the set was minimal by modern arena standards; just a video wall and some screens, including one hanging over the furthest seated tiers so no-one missed a close-up.
Like Adams himself as he complimented a crowd who have stuck with him since he supported Tina Turner at the Glasgow Apollo decades ago, it was all very polite, and at its best when it felt most personal, closing on a run of low-key solo acoustic numbers after an uncharacteristically rowdy rock’n’roll medley of C’mon Everybody and All Shook Up.