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February 19, 2019

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Review: Bryan Adams, at Mandalay Bay, still wants to rock at 55 — and does

Bryan Adams

Bryan Haraway / Mandalay Bay

Bryan Adams performs during his “30th Anniversary Reckless Tour” stop Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Click to enlarge photo

Bryan Adams performs during his “30th Anniversary Reckless Tour” stop Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Click to enlarge photo

Bryan Adams is at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Las Vegas.

Click to enlarge photo

Bryan Adams performs during his current “30th Anniversary Reckless Tour.”

A “One Night Love Affair” with Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and rock-star guitarist Bryan Adams?

Hardly.

It’s been three decades since Adams’ hit album “Reckless” was released and spawned unforgettable 1980s hits including “Heaven,” “Run to You,” “Summer of ’69” and “Somebody.”

Adams brought his “30th Anniversary Reckless Tour” to Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday night, and it was a trip down memory lane — the entire “Reckless” album was performed, plus a few cuts that were, ahem, cut like a knife from the collection — that was entertaining from start to finish.

(Side note: Other 30th anniversaries that have been in the headlines in recent weeks: “Back to the Future,” “The Breakfast Club” and Simple Minds’ No. hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from “The Breakfast Club.”)

Thoughts and highlights:

Adams — with his band, who were all dressed similarly in head-to-toe black (during “Please Forgive Me” at the piano, it looked like Adams was playing, but it was his doppelganger, as Adams was singing at stage right) — comes across as refreshingly earnest, even though he has reason to be proud with his timeless hits — guest the fabulous and beautiful Maren Wade of “Confessions of a Showgirl” correctly noted that his songs could be hits today — and his voice and guitar skills as strong as ever.

His stellar guitar skills were displayed during a solo of crowd favorite and sing-along “Heaven,” his first No. 1 from the film “A Night in Heaven.” After “It’s Only Love,” his hit with Tina Turner, he thanked the music legend — “Love you, Tina” — and noted that he performed the duet with her “at the ripe old age of 24.”

Adams performed for two solid hours with no breaks or costume changes, and the stage, aside from a large LED screen as a backdrop, featured no bells and whistles because they weren’t necessary. Adams’ 30-year-plus career proves his talent, and it was on full display at Mandalay Bay.

In nearly seven years of covering concerts at the events center, this was the first in which a large curtain cut off maybe a third of the venue. Despite the small crowd for the events center, fans were loud, appreciative and gave Adams numerous standing ovations during the evening. Note: Adams would absolutely sell out and rock the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Pearl at the Palms.

Our Q+A with Adams, aka “The Soundtrack King,” was posted last Saturday. Adams’ “Reckless Tour,” which hit Canada, Europe and Africa along with the United States, continues through Aug. 1.

Last Saturday night’s setlist of Adams, who along with his music has become a celebrated photographer: “Reckless,” “One Night Love Affair,” “She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin’,” “Run to You,” “Boys Night Out,” “Heaven,” “Kids Wanna Rock,” “It’s Only Love,” “Long Gone,” “Somebody,” “Ain’t Gonna Cry,” “Summer of ’69,” an acoustic over of Roger Daltrey’s “Let Me Down Easy” and “Everything,” which concluded the “Reckless” album.

Adams quipped that he fortunately had more than a dozen albums to his credit and continued the concert with “If Ya Wanna Be Bad, Ya Gotta Be Good,” “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started,” “Please Forgive Me,” “18 Till I Die,” “This Time” (with the video — remember those on MTV? — from the 1980s) and “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You.”

The encore at 10:10 p.m.: “You’ve Been a Friend to Me,” a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody,” “She Knows Me,” “Straight From the Heart” and “All for Love,” the No. 1 hit with Sting and Rod Stewart from “Three Musketeers.”

Don Chareunsy is the Las Vegas Sun’s arts and entertainment senior editor and has been a journalist for nearly two decades.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous fame” has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

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