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Bryan Adams Stripped Down

The Canadian Invasion of Grand Rapids continued last night.

After Friday’s Michael Buble show at Van Andel Arena, fellow Canadian Bryan Adams rolled into to Devos Hall Monday night for a cozy,  casual,  acoustic show.

Dressed in a simple black shirt and pants, (although with a top hat that quickly came off), on an empty stage with just a piano, Adams easily rolled through a two hour career retrospective featuring all the hits and a few extras.

From the opening notes of  “Run To You” to the big power ballads like “Heaven”, “Everything I Do”, and “Please Forgive Me”, the simple, stripped down versions of Adams’ hits still remind you that underneath all that incredible Mutt Lange studio production,  great, well written pop songs are still great pop songs.  With just piano player Gary Breit backing him up, the big singalong choruses of  “Summer of 69″ or “Somebody” still worked acoustically. More impressive is that Adams still has the vocal chops at age 51 to handle both the rockers and the ballads.

That said, I did find myself at times wishing to hear a bass player and drummer, especially behind some of the uptempo songs,  not only to create more of an ebb and flow to the night, as well to remind people that before he was a 90’s soft rock movie balladeer, he rocked it pretty good in the 80s. With a friendly crowd close enough to shout their favorite “requests” and be heard, this, for one night, was very cool.  I would only hope a “next time” would include the rest of the band.

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