Justin Bieber could have ended up like Bryan Adams.
Once upon a time, a young Bryan Adams was shopping his songs around to up and coming bands. Sending demos of his music to bands before Adams himself gained the confidence to perform them. One of the bands who received Bryan’s songs was The Blushing Brides. Lead singer Maurice Raymond politely declined Adam’s tunes and we now know the story. The Brides went on to become one of the best Rolling Stones’ cover bands and Bryan Adams went on to become …well, Bryan Adams.
Adams was at The Bell Center last night as part of The Montreal Jazz Festival. After all – nothing says jazz like in your face, old fashioned Rock n Roll.
As the hits were parlayed to the punters one after another Tuesday night, it is easy to remember a time when Adams was not taken seriously by the ‘elders’ of Rock n Roll. Musicians and critics alike scoffed at the majority of Adams tunes for two reasons. One, they were Rock n roll with a Pop twist and two; it was the eighties. The purists shunned eighties Rock n Roll for being a watered down product. To a certain extent they were correct yet at the same time – Adams was one of very few who kept Rock alive in a decade that saw keyboard -driven tunes replace the electric guitar.
Fast forward to 2019 and it is songs like Cuts Like a Knife, Summer of 69 and Run to You that appear fresh in a very morbid Rock n Roll world. The type of tunes that in the fifties had parents calling the police on their rebellious teenagers. Compared to most of the new Rock n Roll in 2019 – Adams is Elvis Presley.
From the get go, Adams and his high energy band had the audience in third gear heading to fourth. The energy inside the building Corey built was more than any Montreal Canadiens’ team has displayed in the past 26 years. Keith Scott (Adams’ longtime guitar player) was true to form in keeping with the same leads as on the studio versions yet added enough ‘juice’ to keep the crowd pumped. Combined with Adams own guitar work, the one – two punch was a scorching fire.
The man who kept the energy flowing while Adams and Scott weaved their way through and around the immense catalog was Mickey Curry on drums. Pounding the skins as if killing Cobras – Curry was a machine. Slowing only during the evening’s balladry. Solomon Walker was his mate on the bass and the pair were essential clogs in the rhythmic sense of Adams’ pulsating high rollers.
Gary Breit was the man who Adams turned to for keyboard relief. Breit adding finesse and feeling to all of Adams’ ballads. Withdrawing spaces and adding pleasure to the elite craft that Adams has perfected almost better than none.
Bryan Adams (Canada’s favorite son) put on a sing a long clinic last night. He may not be the best songwriter or the best guitar player from the North. He may not be the best vocalist. One thing Adams has proved, to be successful in music – all you need is a few good hooks.