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Review: Bryan Adams at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

It's been twenty years but Bryan Adams didn't seem to have aged a day as he returned to Newcastle for the Reckless 30-year tour

****

Watching Bryan Adams at Gateshead Stadium was the first concert I ever went to.

It was June 1994. I was 15, and feeling smug for having completed my French GCSE a year early.

So a group of us persuaded reluctant parents to allow us to attend a seven-hour rock concert, because we deserved it after weeks of revision.

It was literally the date of the school year. I was so happy when, after queueing since early, we got into the front segment of the crowd, latterly known as the mosh pit.

And then, before Bryan - before even his support act the Pretenders - came on-stage, I distinguished myself by fainting and having to be pulled out of the crowd by a diligent steward.

Calmed and hydrated by kindly paramedics, I was released back into the fray but gutted to have lost my hard-earned place at the front.

I needn't have worried. In my new position, I met a rakish chap from Leeds who was a whole year older than me, and had my very first kiss as Bryan sang Thought I'd Died and Gone to Heaven.

Anyway. To 2014's offering, and it's first important to say that Bryan Adams hasn't aged a day in the twenty - the horror, twenty - years since I last saw him live.

This makes me wonder whether somewhere in Ontario there's an attic with a very scary portrait of him concealed within.

He opened with Reckless, and from there on in the first half of a pleasing two-hour set was taken from the album which has inspired this 30-year commemorative tour.

One Night Love Affair, Run to You and Heaven are my favourites from this seminal album, and all featured early on.

There was a brief moment with Heaven in which Bryan encouraged an obliging crowd to sing the opening verse. I was reminded of Jason Manford's Robbie Williams routine, with reference to the opening verse of Angels: "No, Robbie. We've all paid £45. YOU sing it."

However, seeing Heaven performed live accompanied by ballad assistance 2014-style in the form of mobile phone lights was rather lovely.

It happened again, albeit predictably, during Everything I Do (I Do It For You) and Please Forgive Me, both of which saw outings during the post-Reckless part of the show.

Generally, though, there was a rocky theme to the set, with 55-year-old Adams not looking even a tad out of breath by the end. We were treated to well over two hours of music, with the crowd on their feet for nearly every song.

Almost all of Reckless was played, with Summer of '69 receiving the most rapturous response.

Lead guitarist Keith Scott was as skilled as ever, and a delighted crowd lapped up everything Adams and his band had to offer, including a moving and personal acoustic encore.

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