I really enjoyed the Bryan Adams concert at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston on Monday night. The whole concept of the Bare Bones acoustic show was to pare down 30 years worth of songs to just the best musical parts—the bare bones. He opened with “Run to You.” Sang “You’re Still the One,” ”Heaven,” “Summer of 69,″ “Here I Am,” ”Love Cuts Like a Knife,” and”If Ya Wanna Be Bad, Ya Gotta Be Good.” This one was fun as a woman in the front row got his attention and danced for him. He thanked her with an air kiss. He told stories about writing songs for the love of music in basements, making the best of the chances you get, and stories of cats that pee in basements.
His musical sidekick Gary who played the piano beautifully looked like a younger version of Bryan Adams. Right before the end of the show he invited the audience to get closer to the stage. He introduced one song with “You’ve probably heard this at a Mexican restaurant. It goes great with chips and guacamole” and he then sang “Tell Me Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” and then ended with my favorite Bryan Adams song “Straight from the Heart." It was a great show with a plenty of funny audience shout-outs, and it was my first time at UPAC, which is a beautiful venue staffed with friendly people.
Before the show, a UPAC representative told the audience that there will be no photography during the show. (I think this is code for just don’t take too many photos with your phone!) Well, it was tough for me, but I told myself, “Just pretend it’s 1981 and you are at a Bryan Adams concert” and that kind of worked for a while. Adams has really kept his voice in shape over the past 30 years. Hard to believe he is 54 years old. I do like his newer songs particularly the sweet “Here I Am” (2004) but it was nice to hear him say, “I’m gonna take you down memory lane.” The couple in front of us were from Catskill. I overheard the man tell the stranger next to him that “I’d Do Anything for You” was their wedding song. Yep, Adams sang that one too and there was lots of smooching going on.
During the show, he invited 4 people who were sitting in the last row of the balcony to come down to the front row since a few seats weren’t filled. UPAC updated their Facebook status to thank Bryan Adams for donating to their fundraiser. Adams pulled out a $100 bill from his wallet after the show to donate to “dinner and a show” a UPAC fundraiser which gives money to local food banks. If Bryan Adams comes to your town, go see him! He’ll romance you, and might even give you an air kiss, or a free upgrade to a front row seat. You never know! Check out UPAC’s concert schedule for upcoming concert info.
Vanessa Ahern writers about where to eat, play & recharge your spirit in the Hudson Valley on her blog Hudson Valley Good Stuff.