'Bare bones' Bryan Adams to play Adler Thursday

Posted Online: March 20, 2014, 12:06 pm
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
It's been 45 years (!) since Bryan Adams got his first real six-string at the five and dime in that pivotal "Summer of '69."

Continuing the stripped-down "bare bones"-style touring he began in 2008, the 54-year-old Canadian rocker will play unplugged this Thursday, March 27, at Davenport's Adler Theatre. Mr. Adams, a Kingston, Ontario native, last played the Quad-Cities in February 2010 at the Capitol Theatre, Davenport.

According to a news release, the Adler show "provides a rare opportunity for fans to see Adams as they've not seen him before: solo-acoustic and intimate."

The Grammy Award-winner has sold more than 65 million records, and has toured six continents, boasting radio-friendly hits including "Cuts Like a Knife," "Summer of '69," "Straight From the Heart," "Run to You," "Heaven," "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" and, most recently, "Thought I'd Seen Everything."

Inspired by his experience recording "MTV's Unplugged" in the '90s, Mr. Adams decided to revisit performing his material pared down again on tour in 2008.

"As the tour rolled across the USA and Canada, many people were asking for a recording of the songs as they had just heard in the show. So in response to that, I decided to record a few shows to see if a recording was even interesting," he previously said about his "Bare Bones" record, released as a live collection in 2010. "I like the way the songs carry themselves warts and all, bare-boned, without the original arrangements of a full band or an orchestra."

A Winnipeg (Canada) Free Press review of a February 2014 "Bare Bones" show said: "A truly great song is one that can be stripped down to its bones. That's why so many singer/songwriters subject their songs to the so-called 'campfire test,' the purpose being to see how well they hold up without the assistance of, say, a seasoned producer.

"Bryan Adams has more than a few tunes in his estimable catalogue that pass the campfire test," the rave review said.

An Albany (N.Y.) Times Union review from December 2013 said: "Adams' biggest hits — from his stadium sing-along anthems ("Somebody," "This Time," "Cuts Like a Knife") to his big love ballads ("All for Love," "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," "I Finally Found Someone") — always seemed tailor-made for arenas, but he managed to transform them into more intimate, stripped-down arrangements with surprisingly solid results, proving that a good song is a good song no matter the presentation format.

"And Adams is undeniably quite a skilled pop craftsman," it said.

Mr. Adams recently responded by email to questions from The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus:

Q. Why do you like doing the "Bare Bones" tours so much?
A. Practically because I'm getting to play in buildings around the world I never thought I'd play; Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, The Sydney Opera House and on and on. Plus, it's so much about the songs which is the foremost thing for me as a musician and writer.

Q. When is the last time you toured with a band, and do you do a combination of both each year?
A. We play together during the summer months mostly and into the autumn. There will be lots of band dates towards the end of the year after this summer.

Q. Were all your hits written on your acoustic and do these reflect the original sound of the songs in your head?
A. They were written on anything I could get my hands on, even piano.

Q. What songs come off best in the stripped-down format?
A. I think they all work, and I think it rocks even when they are bare-boned.

Q. What songs really work best with a band, and do you miss that?
A. I don't miss it, I look forward to it and the songs that work best are the songs on the anthology

Q. Is there a country or region of the U.S. you typically get the biggest response from?
A. It's got to be New York, which is the region my music broke from, but ironically, the place I wouldn't have expected has become one of the best, and that's California.

Q. Are there certain songs many people sing along to?
A. Yes of course, the ones they know the best. All the hit songs ...

Q. What is that like?
A: It can be very funny, but mostly it's the highest compliment. I love it when everyone has a sing-song.

Q: When will you next go back to record something new?
A: I've got two new albums on the go, one of covers and one of originals ...

Q: As a native of Ontario, what is your opinion of Toronto mayor Rob Ford?
A: His drink and drug problems are controversial for someone in his position of mayor. Nevertheless, there are a lot of people who like him because he's not hidden his problems and he's apologized for it.

Q: Do you do any work for political or charitable causes?
A: TheBryanAdamsFoundation.com (According to the site, the foundation was set up in 2006 by Mr. Adams shortly after the tsunami struck southern Asia. It aims to improve the quality of people's lives around the world by providing financial help and support to those people who are committed to bettering the lives of other people, by providing grants to finance specific projects, such as a London hospital, a youth center in South Africa, and Human Rights Watch.).

If you go

-- What: Bryan Adams
-- When: Thursday, March 27 at 8 p.m.
-- Where: Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport.
-- Tickets: $31.50, $57 and $77 -- available at Ticketmaster.com, the Adler box office, 800-745-3000 and at Ticketmaster outlets.


Local events heading

  Today is Sunday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2014. There are 101 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We hear that Col. Reynolds has employed C.D. Merrill to drill for water to supply the Rock Island Barracks.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Billy Catton, famous billard player, returned to Rock Island with a view to making this city his home in the future.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The belief is growing that a great decisive battle of the World War was being fought at Verdun, a strong fortress of France on the Meuse near the French frontier, according to a London dispatch.
1939 -- 75 years ago: William Stremmel, 91, Rock Island's last Civil War veteran, died.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Workmen of the Midwest Wrecking Co., Clinton, have begun razing the historic old office building of Deere & Co., 1325 3rd Ave., Moline. The site will be used by the Deere Plow Works for its shipping and receiving department.
1989 -- 25 years ago: East Moline developer Jim Massa says the financial package for the proposed $34.5 million Quad City International Motor Speedway is down to making sure "all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Finalizing this will give the green light to see if NASCAR and CART, the auto racing sanctioning bodies, approve race dates.

(More History)