2. This guy:
3. Maple Syrup
What are Canada's three most famous exports?
At one point during last night's two-hour "Bare Bones" tour stop at the intimate Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, Bryan Adams told the crowd he was from Canada. Really? We had no idea (kidding), although the three women in the balcony waving the Canadian flag clued us in just a touch.
This was my first time seeing Bryan Adams in concert, and I will admit that I wish it had been a full band show. Accompanied by only a pianist (no pianist jokes, please), the set was like seeing MTV Unplugged back in the day, which was his inspiration for the tour (he once played MTV Unplugged, he explained, it just took him all these years to get the courage to do it again. (he didn't use the word "courage").
I only say I wish I had seen him with a full band the first time because, although songs like "Heaven" and "Straight From The Heart" make an easy transition, you kinda want to be moving around and feeling the full mix of "Summer of 69" and "Run To You". That being said, this was an excellent show. Adams' voice is in outstanding form and songs like "Summer of 69" became crowd sing-a-longs.
Mostly, the advantage of seeing Bryan Adams in this setting (aside from the close up view) was the interaction only a small venue is conducive to. He told many stories, including thanking bands like Journey, Foreigner, and the Kinks for allowing him to open their shows when nobody knew who he was. He played a song he wrote for Ray Charles that never got to Ray Charles. He played a song he wrote for Joe Cocker (a huge 80's hit called "When the Night Comes").
The intimacy provided for uncomfortable moments, like when he rightfully scolded a woman in the front for staring at her phone all show ("I'm pouring out my soul here, staring at your phone is pretty shi___y"). At one point late in the set he beckoned some audience members in the back of the balcony to come take some extra seats in the front. For the last few songs, he invited the crowd to move all the way to the front and fill the aisles.
These are moments rare in any concert, and Adams weaved them throughout in excellent fashion. The music (and he played a whopping 25+ songs from his catalog) was pretty great as well.