Bryan Adams has never been the tallest rocker in the world. Nor is he the most fashionable. The man likes things simple -- and not just when it comes to clothing. A shirt and jeans is all he needs. Strap a guitar on and off he goes -- darting from one side of the stage to the other; lapping up the attention. However, that isn't to say his lyrics don't mean something to the thousands who follow Adams (51) on tour.
Everything he does . . . well, you know where that's heading. And you know what? Simplicity works.
It makes for a good rock tune and a good rock star. What he lacks in height, he more than makes up for with stage presence. Watch him punch the air. Listen to him roar. Note the absence of bad language. What's more, he's surrounded by friends, dear and skilful friends such as touring guitarist Keith Scott, Adams' right hand man.
What the Canadian has to offer is good, clean and catchy. Anthems. Love songs. Three decades of hits. There's the sublime Summer of '69, with its instantly recognisable intro. Run to You sounds remarkably fresh, as do most songs tonight. Then there's that Robin Hood number (Everything I do) I Do It for You. Unfortunately, there's a sense that even Adams is sick of that one.
When You're Gone -- now there's another belter. Adams picks a female from the audience to perform Mel C's part. Which brings us to Aoife, from Co Meath, the brave girl who had her moment in the spotlight. Fair play.
It doesn't come as a surprise to learn that Adams is equally effective with an acoustic guitar, what with the charismatic showman having just come off the Bare Bones tour in which hits were stripped right back.
Nice to know he remembers things about Ireland. Pausing to admire his surroundings, Adams tells us about the drive over to the O2. "That place kind of looks like the Point," he said, "but with a hat on it." And there you have it -- a decent rock'n'roll man with a sense of humour. People came to see a good rock show, and that's exactly what they got. Job done.HHHII