Less talk, more rock

Absence forgiven: Rocker Bryan Adams (above) covered 30 songs in a gig that lasted more than two hours.
Absence forgiven: Rocker Bryan Adams (above) covered 30 songs in a gig that lasted more than two hours.PHOTO: AMPLIFIED PRODUCTION

Bryan Adams' first Singapore concert in 23 years proves that his songs can still get fans grooving in a jiffy



Suntec Convention Centre Hall 601/ Last Friday

Mr Adams, you have been away from Singapore way too long.

The Canadian rocker last performed here at a New Year's Eve concert to welcome the year 1994.

And while the 57-year-old was polite and nice - warm even - to the 5,500-strong crowd last Friday, there seemed to be a lack of familiarity with Singapore and his fans here.

His show felt like a reunion with an old-school friend you have not seen in 23 years - how chummy do you expect it to be?

Having attended the Newcastle stop of the same tour last year, I felt the singer had shared much more with his British fans. In that show, he talked about his early life in Canada, his children and the meaning behind his songs.

At his Singapore show, the banter was much less lively and largely limited to thanking the audience and recollecting his 1994 experience here as "the best New Year's party" he has ever had.

To be fair, Adams has been busy. He has released 13 studio albums and his current tour has brought him all over the world.

Before Singapore, his last show was in the Philippines last Wednesday. And after his performance here, he jetted off for his Malaysia leg the next day.

His Singapore concert, however, went as smoothly as a well-oiled machine. Everyone on the floor got up the moment he took the stage and the show ran for more than two hours, featuring 30 songs.

Six songs - You Belong To Me, Go Down Rockin', We Did It All, Don't Even Try, Do What You Gotta Do and Brand New Day - came from his most recent album, Get Up, and were delivered in his signature raspy vocals, accompanied by cool guitar riffs.

One highlight was when Adams invited a female audience member to dance along while he sang If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good. The sporting woman shook her booty with aplomb - as her image splashed across the jumbotron screen - and, for a moment, stole the show.

Adams also brought on the nostalgia when he sang some of the rock classics previously performed at his 1994 concert - Summer Of '69 and Please Forgive Me. No surprise, they received some of the loudest applause of the night.

The opening chords of his 1980s hit Heaven were also greeted with screaming women and hollering men, as they created a sea of stars with the lights on their mobile phones.

Adams did not have to sing. He held the microphone to the audience members and they proved they knew every word.

See, Mr Adams, your audience loves you. You just need to see us more often. Next time, try not to stay away so long.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2017, with the headline 'Less talk, more rock'. Print Edition | Subscribe