Bryan Adams – Live Review – The Piece Hall, Halifax

Bryan Adams Live review The Piece Hall Halifax

By Steve Crabtree, June 2024

In the late 90s and 00s, I used to spend my Friday and Saturday nights in Halifax’s legendary Maine Street nightclub. The upstairs, breakaway club of the Coliseum.

In there, the DJ mainly played 80s bangers and singalong hits. Within the set, he’d always weave in ‘Living On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi, and ‘The Time Of My Life’ by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Then, ‘Summer of ‘69’ by Bryan Adams followed. Every night. Every time. Without fail. Everyone would sing along, play air guitar and have a jolly good time. Well, almost everyone.

That nightclub played that song to death, and I mean to death. It was played to the point where I was dreading that small commercial rock segment. It’d often be my cue to head downstairs for a bit, go to the bar or even stick my fingers in my ears in comedy protest.

Maine Street destroyed Bryan Adams for me, and even if I am in a massive minority on that score, I’ve spent many years side-stepping his music.  But when it was announced he was coming to play a gig at The Piece Hall in Halifax, I felt I needed to go. I needed to be cured and surely seeing him live would put all that misery behind me… right…?

Bryan Adams Live review The Piece Hall Halifax

“The coolest person in the place”

Another lovely warm night, and another sell-out crowd saw the Canadian rocker appear on stage at 9pm, leather jacket clad and looking like the coolest person in the place. As two huge balls were launched into the crowd, he kicked off with ‘Kick Ass’. And from that point on that’s what he was here to do.

‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’ followed the opener, and that went down really well.  Especially with me.  A song I loved when I was at school, and one I completely forgot was an Adams tune. And then, we were given a plethora of hits, newer songs, and patter from someone who really is one of the best in the business.

’18 Till I Die’ was another early beauty to come out of the setlist, as was ‘Kids Wanna Rock’.

There were so many hardcore Bryan Adams fans in the place. Whether they came with the rocker image, or just knew every word – it was so good being around all these voices belting out his lyrics alongside him.

The very cheerful Adams made sure he let everyone have a good view of him.  Performing to the left of the stage for one song, performing from the right for another.  Then he wandered out on to a short runway in the centre of the stage. Just to get a little bit more in with the crowd.

He gave the limelight to his band on many occasions, and also said “I had no idea what I was coming to. A hall? What a beautiful place”. All these top people from the music world as blown away with The Piece Hall as we are with their performances.

Bryan Adams Live review The Piece Hall Halifax

“A nice touch”

With crunching clean guitars that sounded epic, the setlist was packed with quality. In tribute to his former collaborator Tina Tuner, he performed ‘It’s Only Love’ ‘The Best’ and ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’.  That was a nice touch.

And there was a lovely moment when we were treated to ‘So Happy It Hurts’. The video for the track was on the screen behind Adams, and with the greatest joy, he pointed out that the lady in the car next to him in the video was his mother. As the Halifax crowd broke out in to a “BRYAN’S MUM, BRYAN’S MUM…” song, he asked us to carry on and he took a video on his phone to send to her.

All the while, the energy from Adams and his band was something else. And the fact he’s still doing what he does at such a pace, and powering that raw vocal through every single tune is astounding.

Bryan Adams Live review The Piece Hall Halifax

“World class”

‘Everything I Do (I Do It For You)’ was stunning, and very well received by Halifax. And ‘Run To You’ was perhaps the best song of the evening.  But we soon got to the penultimate song of his main set, which was the big test for me. Was I going to enjoy this, or were my fingers going in my ears?

Well, you can probably guess…’Summer of 69′ was off the scale incredible. The intro, the drum drop, the lights, and the vocal…world class is probably the term I’m looking for. But we all know Bryan Adams is world class don’t we? Yep, even I know that, and I’m finally cured of my Summer of 69 thing.

He wasn’t finished there. We had 21 songs in total in a night that went by in a flash. And in an acoustic led encore, we had a brilliant sing along version of ‘When You’re Gone’, his duet with Melanie C of Spice Girls fame. And he ended the night on ‘Straight From The Heart’.  It was a perfect finish to an amazing show.

Images: Cuffe & Taylor


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