Bryan Adams @ Bell Centre – 2nd July 2019

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It was the summer of ’19, I made my way to the Mecca of hockey, the Bell Centre to enjoy a musical performance by none other than Canadian ICON Bryan Adams. He returned to Montreal having already presented one show of the Shine The Light Tour back in January 2019, but this time the show was presented by Montreal International Jazz Festival as an official event of the festival.

The sold-out crowd waited in anticipation for Bryan to hit the stage. While waiting they were presented with a large video screen with the cover of the Shine The Light album with a few fun visuals. Finally, after 8-10 minutes he walked on stage and performed “Ultimate Love” one of his newer songs off the Ultimate compilation album released in 2017.  Fans got into it right away and they would not be disappointed as the show’s setlist featured most songs from that compilation.

Bryan warned us that we are in for a long night and he had 14 albums to choose songs from. Man, they don’t make them like this anymore, most shows are limited to an hour to an hour and a half but not for this guy? He gave us a good 2 hours of material. Playing all the hits from “Summer of ’69” to “Cuts Like a Knife” to “Run to You” and “Straight from the Heart.” 

Simply put the show was amazing, at 59 he’s still rocking with no signs of quitting!  Not one person left that venue without a smile on their face!  One of my favorite moments was when he started playing “Heaven” and let the crowd sing the song, it was magical.  Another moment that had me gushing was when he sang “Everything I do (I do it for you)”, one of my favorite songs by him, just beautiful.  He also practices his French quite a bit even doing a French rendition of  “Here I am / Me Voila” which was fantastic and delighted the crowd.

Finally, one thing that impressed me a lot was the talent he surrounds himself with. The band was spot on, led by guitarist Keith Scott who was Pete Townshend-esque.  He was fantastic and complimented Bryan every step of the way.  Such a joy to watch them feed off each other.

This was a show for the fans. It was hit after hit, a really diverse setlist even giving the chance to fans to request songs around the end of his set.  Multiple sing-alongs, crowd standing ovations… Montreal loved him. One heck of a night!

Review & photos – Eric Brisson

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