When you’ve got nearly 35 years at the top of the music industry under your belt, you’re already something of a legend and Bryan Adams proved every second of his worth with a stirring, entertaining hit-filled set at Powderham Castle, near Exeter, in Devon on Thursday night as part of his Get Up world tour. The grounds of the historic, 17th century fortified manor house hosted BBC Radio 1’s hugely successful Big Weekend last summer, where Coldplay magnificently headlined, and so they’re no strangers to hosting world-class talent.
As an outdoor gig, weather was always going to be a factor but after a few drizzly grey clouds cleared, as support act The Dunwells pounded out a notable-sounding set, the sun burst through the evening haze as Bryan Adams hit the stage. Opening the gig with Do What You Gotta Do from the new album Get Up, it wasn’t long before we got our taste of the classics with Can’t Stop This Thing We Started really getting the sun-drenched evening crowd going.
Throughout the set list, Adams and his talented band offered up new songs, old ones and “even older” (in his words) tracks as he proved his talent crosses the generations, up there on the Devon stage. From the new album we also got the excellently catchy You Belong To Me (which included this rather amusing band ‘dance’) and Brand New Day and in-between all the track you want to singalong to which included *breathes in* Run To You, Heaven, Cloud Number 9, When You’re Gone, Cuts Like A Knife, 18 tie I Die (in which the screen cheekily flashed up his real age), It’s Only Love – with long-term Adams friend and guitarist Keith Scott giving a an legendary solo and also the replacement for Tina Turner, Please Forgive Me, Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman, an encore of All for Love – which is still ringing in my ears today – plus of course the ultimate tracks Summer of ’69 and Everything I Do (I Do It For You) which, if you don’t know, spent 16 weeks at number 1 in the UK, thanks to it being an epic tune but also Kevin Costner’s awesome turn in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves where he’s American but it doesn’t seem to matter, keeping it in the mind of everyone in 1991.
What also shone through on Bryan Adams ‘Get Up’ Exeter gig was the sheer energy from the stage, including the band, the complete setup and helped by a friendly crowd all singing along. Whatever moment you’re at in your music career, it’s important to captivate and offer all of your ‘self’ out there if you want to be taken seriously, and if you want to find a mutual respect with your audience. Adams proved from start to finish, in a set that lasted over 2 hours, that his talent deservedly remains at the top and when you add in all the classic songs, new and old, his relevance is just as great as ever. Finally, throw in some Canadian charm and natural stage presence and he doesn’t appear to be stepping down for anyone. By the way, does anyone know who Doris was? Ha-ha! Even if we never find out, it was a perfect night at Powderham.