Bryan Adams at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre

Bryan Adams at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre


Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
Irvine, CA
May 22, 2015

Writing and Photography by

Bryan-Adams-06Fifteen years later than the fictional tale told in his soon-to-be hit song, Canadian rocker BRYAN ADAMS spent the summer of ’84 in studio recording what would become RECKLESS – his biggest selling album ever, with over five million copies sold in the U.S. alone after its release on his birthday (November 5) that same year. The album spawned six chart-topping singles – a feat shared by only Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen otherwise.

And even though BRYAN ADAMS became a star (at least with the video-enthralled MTV Generation) with his previous vinyl venture CUTS LIKE A KNIFE, RECKLESS made BRYAN ADAMS an international household name.

And he still is, judging by the avid fans who showed up (just short of a sell-out) at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (formerly Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, and, more formerly, Irvine Meadows – got that straight?) last Friday night for Adams’s RECKLESS – 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR.

In fact, 55-year-old Adams not only still brings them in, he still leaves them swooning from his obviously enduring good looks (he doesn’t seem a day over 1985), although his 80s wanna-be rebel image in blue jeans and a ‘leather’ jacket (seriously, who was he kidding – he was nothing if not full of boyish charm) has turned into more of a mysterious and alluring movie-style bad-boy, dressed completely in black with his perfectly slicked back coiffure – landing him somewhere right between Johnny Cash and Patrick Swayze’s Greaser oldest brother Darry from another 1983 hit – Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders”. Trust me, it TOTALLY works.

Oh – and lest I forget – his signature raspy and sultry voice has also fared quite well over the three decades since he first cut like a knife – straight through our hearts (OH, come on – it HAD to be done). Adams still has IT, whatever IT is.

And we’re not the only ones who think so: We were just recently reminded of what a great and influential songwriter Adams (and his oft songwriting partner JIM VALLANCE) really is when we got to witness CHEVY METAL (with members of the FOO FIGHTERS moonlighting in their side gig as a sometimes cover band) bust out their version of “Summer of ‘69” on stage in Thousand Oaks just two weeks earlier.

But back to Friday night: Marking this noted milestone since the release of RECKLESS, long-time (since the 80s!) band members KEITH SCOTT Bryan-Adams-04(ripping guitarist and So. Cal. resident himself) and drummer MICKEY CURRY, along with bassist NORM FISHER and keyboardist GARY BREIT, joined Adams out on the road for the official RECKLESS – 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR. Watching the guys on stage made it clear they are having fun and, judging from some of Scott’s antics (let’s just say the stage left floor at Irvine Meadows won’t need to be swept for a while), they have picked up right where they left off.

Adams spent much of the first half of his set playing the RECKLESS album in its entirety, although in a bit of a revised order. Interestingly, the album’s title track “Reckless” was never even on the album, as it was written in the 11th hour – just before the LP’s release. It was just too late. The song, written by Adams (and Vallance) instead stayed dormant for Adams (until last year), but it was covered by the 80s band LOVERBOY (remember them!?!) who recorded the song as “DANGEROUS” (simply exchanging the word “Dangerous” for “Reckless” in the lyrics). Yep – it’s the SAME song.

Throughout the night, Adams prefaced his music with stories (such as what it was like working with Tina Turner when they recorded the duet “It’s Only Love”) and often acknowledged his audience of adoring fans.  At one point, he even asked one lucky fan to come up on stage to dance with (well mostly near) him during “If You Wanna Be Bad”. 

And although the venue wasn’t sold out – the crowd definitely let Adams know they were there for him as well. 

The RECKLESS – 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR continues across the US through the rest of the Summer of ’15.  Hmmm.  I wonder if he planned it that way.

SPOTTED IN THE CROWD:  Bon Jovi tribute band WANTED guitarist STEVE FRANGADAKIS, Real OC Housewife Heather Dubrow (and her hubby Dr. Terry), and a whole lot of happy middle-aged campers!


One Night Love Affair 
She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin’ 
Run to You 
The Boys Night Out 
Kids Wanna Rock 
It’s Only Love 
Long Gone (with Adams on harmonica)
Ain’t Gonna Cry 
Summer of ’69 
Let Me Down Easy (Roger Daltrey cover but written by Adams and co-writer Jim Vallance – performed as solo acoustic by Adams)
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You 
If You Wanna Be Bad (with lucky audience member on stage)
This Time 
Can’t Stop This Thing We Started 
18 Til I Die 
Cuts Like a Knife 
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You 


You’ve Been a Friend to Me 
C’mon Everybody (Eddie Cochran cover)
She Knows Me
Straight from the Heart – solo acoustic
All for Love (Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting cover) solo acoustic


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