Concert preview: Bryan Adams brings Bare Bones tour back to Reno
Written by Josh Nagel Best Bets Editor
His rock-driven hits were a big part of the 1980s radio soundtrack, and his 1990s ballads were the backdrop for many slow dances.
Although you won’t see his name on the Billboard charts nearly as often these days, Bryan Adams is still going strong. The 54-year-old Canadian pop icon still creates new music, collaborates with other artists, and tours constantly.
What’s more, he has varied talents and interests. For example, he is a semi-professional photographer — he gets paid for some gigs, and has produced two photo books this year. He also dedicates time raising money for his foundation to assist a range of causes and charities.
But Adams remains a performer at heart, and brings his Bare Bones Tour on Oct. 16 back to the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. As the title suggests, the show has a scaled-down format — essentially Adams and a guitar.
He played a Bare Bones show at the Pioneer in 2010, and a sold-out crowd had its heart melted as Adams dug deep into his catalog of hits.
In an interview with Best Bets, Adams answered a few questions ahead of his return to Reno:
QUESTION: Now that you’ve done many shows in the Bare Bones format, tell us how it compares to performing with a full band. By now do you prefer the Bare Bones shows? Why or why not?
ANSWER: I sort of run two different shows all the time. For example, this year we went out as a band all summer, and the rest of the year I went out with the Bare Bones show. I love both, and I'm convinced one helps the other. Could you imagine if all acts were required to do their show acoustically, and not have any effects, just them and the music?
It would be incredible. I do this show because the songs can stand up to the minimum arrangements, and if I was watching a show or was a fan, this is what I would want to hear now, as the records have done a great job setting things up.
Q: You have two photography books being released this year,. How did you get started in photography? Are you self-taught or have you had professional schooling?
A: I’m self-taught, but nothing happens without the experience of doing it. You have to put in the time, make mistakes and learn from them, I'm still learning — you can't help it if you love what you do.
Q: At 54, you appear to be in great physical shape. What is your secret to maintaining the fountain of youth?
A: Fitness and health are paramount if you want to continue with your work and, of course, your life. I became a vegetarian in my 20s and, now that I'm in my 50s, I'm so grateful I made that change. I look at other men my age and most of them look much older and fatter. That said, my grandfather was very lean and fit and was still in the garden to the end, so maybe and hopefully I have his genes.
Q: Do you feel as though the immense commercial success of your 1990s pop ballads (such as “Everything I do, I Do It For You and “All For One”) ended up overshadowing the legacy of your earlier work (such as “Summer of 69” and “Cuts Like A Knife”), at least in terms of public perception? If so, does this at all bother you or, if you had the chance, is there anything about your career that you’d do differently?
A: That's funny. Those slower songs which you are talking about, particularly the songs I wrote for films, have given me an international touring base, I can literally tour anywhere. Does that bother me? I don't think so!
Q: What is the most gratifying part of live performances for you? Is your answer the same as it would have been 20 years ago? Why or why not?
A: I love to sing … it's hard to explain, other than that. It's sort of a workout as well, it shakes everything up inside, at least that is how it feels. And, yes, the answer would probably be the same … give or take a few expletives.
Q: What song or lyrical stanza that you’ve written are you most proud of, and why? If you could change the words to one song you’ve written, what would it be and why?
A: I wouldn't change any of my lyrics, and the one that stands out right now, due to your (fountain of youth) question is, “18 til I die, it sure feels good to be alive, someday I'll be 18 going on 55"!
Q: Do you have plans for any new studio albums or other new music projects?
A: Yes, I'm trying to make a record now … one of these days I hope to finish it.
Picture:Canadian pop icon Bryan Adams brings his Bare Bones tour Oct. 16 to the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno. / Getty Images
If You Go
Who: Bryan Adams
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 16
Where: Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
by Nicole Horesch