Review: Bryan Adams, Ipswich Regent

The legendary rocker brought his stripped back Bare Bones Tour to Suffolk on Saturday night.

THE Canadian soft-rock superstar brought a very different show to Ipswich as he did a two-hour set with just himself, his guitar and a pianist.

This was music stripped to the bare minimum – almost like a busker playing in front of 1,700 people.

And while that worked very well for some of his quieter, more thoughtful, ballads I can’t help feeling that much of his material would have been improved by the addition of a drummer and bassist.

It’s one thing to perform “unplugged,” but with this show had the baby been thrown out with the bathwater?

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Songs like “Heaven” and “Have You Ever Loved a Woman?” worked very well, but when we got to his anthemic “Summer of 69,” there was certainly something missing.

The audience effectively provided the percussion by clapping and stomping along to it – but I could not escape the feeling that the sound would have been so much better with a professional doing his (or her) bit on the stage.

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Even Adam’s best-known and most successful single “Everything I Do” – the ultimate power ballad – seemed to lack, well, power when stripped to the bare bones.

I’ve been a huge fan of Adams since I first saw him at Portman Road in 1992.

For me he’s the best act they’ve had there (although REM did run him close) and I’ve made sure I’ve got all his albums since so there was no way I was going to miss his return to the town.

Like the vast majority of the sell-out audience at the Regent, I enjoyed the show for what it was however I was left feeling it lacked a certain something.

So it was a good, rather than outstanding, night out. And that is not really what I had been expecting!

Paul Geater

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