Whatever IT is, he’s got it. With his slicked back hair and smart evening jacket, he may be a bit Don Draper of Mad Men from the waist up, but he’s still all denim ‘n’ Elvis from the belt buckle down.
He’s definitely on a bit of a 50s trip, with plenty of rock ‘n’ roll riffs, and even some greaser era covers. His new song ‘You Belong To Me’, from his (very fine) new album Get Up, wouldn’t be out of place in a Sun Studios back catalogue.
However, this is no nostalgia tour. He also plays ‘Brand New Day’ and ‘Do What You Gotta Do’, both shiny new gems. Plus ‘Don’t Even Try’ (with David Walliams behind on the video screen). And all his classic hits.
This is a busy year for Adams, who is touring the world with his new album Get Up. He arrives into Cork in the middle of a week of mostly UK dates, all sold out stadium gigs.
In fact, it’s sold out mega venues every night for the rest of the week: Wednesday, Italy. Thursday to Sunday, back in the UK.
Next up more of Europe, then the US, South America and South Africa. This 5,000-ticket gig is probably his only ‘intimate’ show of the tour.
Why is he in this tent? He must really love the Irish? Tick. The Rebels in particular? Tick (naturally!). Happy memories of Slane 2000? Tick. And happy memories of his Marquee 2014 show? Tick.
As he says himself: “It feels like I was here not so long ago. I think it has been three years since I was last here. We have been here since Sunday morning enjoying the beautiful Irish countryside. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has been looking after us.”
He may be promoting a new album, but he also rolls out all the hits: ‘Everything I Do’, ‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’, ‘Run To You’, ‘Summer of 69’, ‘Cloud #9’, ‘Please Forgive Me’, ‘Heaven’ (crowd sang every word, great guitar solo by Keith Scott) and all the rest.
And as for ‘It’s Only Love’, Adams says: “Tina Turner couldn’t be here tonight, but we have a secret weapon, Mr Keith Scott.”
He’s not wrong.
His songs are just ridiculously familiar. Mind you, commercial success and a loyal rock following don’t always go hand-in-hand. Somehow he has always managed to retain an air of cool, despite a seemingly neverending string of chart-toppers.
To be honest, if hits were children, you still couldn’t love them all equally. Kevin Costner’s Prince of Thieves kept ‘Everything I Do’ on the world’s radio playlists so long, even Maid Marion went off it for a few years.
However, last night, all was forgiven: Check the singalong vids online and try pretending they’re not awesome.
And not just on the rock songs; he also fairly handy on the mellow stuff, for instance ‘Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?, which even Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando would have to admit was the best thing about their film Don Juan De Marco.
And the Spanish guitar works its magic here again tonight.
Adams rocked. The tent rocked too.
Like the parting of the Red Sea, the day of rain outside stopped in time for the show, but with the happy rockers inside sweating their brains out, it was like a flood plain all day long.
An epic night? Biblical.
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