Bryan Adams Strips Down to ‘Bare Bones’ at Shreveport’s Strand Theatre
There's just nothing like live acoustic music. It's so much more intimate than a full-band performance, with plenty of opportunity for story-telling. What makes that experience even better is when the musician is someone you grew up listening to, and when the setting is a historic local theater.
That's the kind of show I got to be part of when Canadian rocker Bryan Adams performed at The Strand Friday night. And for the first time in my many years of concert-going, I had front-and-center tickets.
Adams visited Shreveport as part of his "Bare Bones" Tour. It was just him, his acoustic guitar and an amazing pianist who accompanied him on numerous songs.
The singer told the packed house this was his first time performing in our city. He said his agent told him it was time for him to retire because he's been everywhere. Adams smirked, looked around the room and said, "Evidently not."
The Hits and Then Some
The show started with the well-known tune "Run to You," and included lots of other favorites, like "Somebody," "Heaven," "Cuts Like a Knife," "This Time," "Can't Stop This Thing We Started" and "Straight From the Heart." He also played tunes off of his 2004 "Room Service" album. And of course, he couldn't leave us without the ballads "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" and "Please Forgive Me."
I've got to say, I've been a Bryan Adams fan since the 80's, and his vocals are just as good now as they ever were. And it's such an enjoyable experience getting to hear them live, for the first time on my part, stripped down and raw. It gave the crowd an opportunity to do a little more singing along without losing their voices. The folks I heard (as I was singing along with them) sounded great! There was not an off-key voice in the house.
Best Moments from the Show
Some of my favorite moments during the show were when Adams singled out several people in the audience. One of them happened to be my friend Amanda Currier, who was sitting next to me. We found out we couldn't use her "good" camera with the flash on the front row, so she had her cell phone out and was trying to snap a few shots and put them on Facebook for us.
Just as he was about to start another song, he stopped and told her jokingly (and this may not be an EXACT quote, but it's the basic gist of it): "Hey, sweetheart, stop texting your boyfriend. If you were a couple of rows back, it wouldn't be a problem. Just tell him you'll love him later."
It had everyone in the room cracking up. We were laughing about that the rest of the night. And Adams sang most of the next song just to her!
Another awesome moment was when Adams invited two people who were sitting in the back of the balcony section to come sit in two empty seats near the front of the theater.
He had some great stories to tell, and I wish I could remember them all. But rather than sit in the front row with pen and paper in hand jotting down notes and facing a possibility of also getting called out by Adams, I opted instead to just sit back and take it all in. I'm glad I did.
It was a fun, relaxing, entertaining, laugh-out-loud, sing-along, get-up-and-dance, amazing good time. There was an encore, and everyone was on their feet for those last few songs. I don't think I stopped smiling once during the entire show.
If you have the opportunity to see this show while Bryan Adams is still in the U.S., do it! If you have a chance to see it elsewhere, do it! Adams embarks on the European leg of his Bare Bones Tour next month.