From the inaugural chords to the final notes, Bryan Adams once again asserted his status as a bona fide rock icon during the recent leg of his So Happy It Hurts Tour in Pretoria. The musical maestro, having kicked off the South African segment of his tour in Cape Town, graced the Sunbet Arena with three sensational shows. Despite Adams, 64, forgetting his prior appearance at the venue, the electrifying performances served as a reminder that some things only get better with time.
The atmosphere in the arena was charged with anticipation, intensified by Adams's strategic use of pre-show video clips and a spectacular display featuring a convertible flying car that circled the venue. At a Bryan Adams concert, one can expect a two-hour extravaganza of pure rock and classic ballads. The journey began with the lively "Kick Ass" from his latest album, setting the tone for an evening brimming with nostalgia and powerhouse performances.
Presenting approximately 30 songs, Adams masterfully intertwined his latest compositions with timeless classics. The audience was treated to an array of hits, including "When You Love Someone," "18 'Til I Die," "Somebody," and the iconic "Summer of '69." Introducing an acoustic touch to tracks like "Here I Am" and "Straight from the Heart," Adams created intimate moments within the expansive arena.
As Adams engaged with the audience, sharing anecdotes about his 95-year-old mother and reflecting on his early struggles as an 18-year-old aspiring songwriter, the connection deepened. A unique interactive element emerged as the crowd influenced the setlist, suggesting and enjoying fan favorites like "Don't Drop that Bomb on Me" and "Cloud Number Nine."
Despite the passing years, Adams's performance remained nothing short of remarkable. The enduring energy, passion, and distinctive voice that have characterized his career for nearly four decades were on full display. With a musical legacy spanning generations, Adams undeniably solidified his place in rock history.
However, amidst the musical enchantment, a surprising twist emerged – management restrictions on photos and videos in the front rows. Some attendees expressed disappointment, feeling hindered in capturing their cherished moments. The decision raised speculation on the management's motives in an era dominated by social media. Kaitlin Morland, a disappointed concertgoer, remarked, "It was very disappointing that management came and pushed down our phones every time we wanted to take a video or a photo. We paid a lot of money for front row tickets, and this was never stipulated to us."
Other concertgoers echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the departure of photographers after a single song and noting the grainy quality of the video on the backscreen. Some speculated that the management's decision may be an attempt to preserve the image of the aging rockstar.
Despite this minor disruption, fans departed the arena buzzing with admiration for Adams's timeless talent and the unforgettable performance. Bryan Adams continues to assert himself as a musical force, a living legend whose influence spans across generations. As the So Happy It Hurts Tour journeys forward, audiences worldwide can anticipate nothing less than an electrifying night of rock and nostalgia from this iconic performer.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]