Growing up in the 1980’s you couldn’t help but under the spell of MTV. For all of the 1980’s and about half of the 1990’s, MTV was where kids got their music fix with videos ruling the day. Yes, this was magical time and I for one can say I’m from the MTV generation. Two of the biggest names from that magical era joined forces to tour this summer. Bryan Adams and Billy Idol both benefited from having their videos played on heavy rotation. The two stopped by Darien Lake to play a lot of those songs and have the fans reminisce about the good ole’ days.
First up was Billy Idol. Few benefited from MTV than Billy Idol. His charm charisma played perfectly to the viewing audience. With catch songs like “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell,” he was one of the biggest names of the MTV generation. Along with his sidekick and 6 string sideman Steve Stevens, the band delivered a mixed set to the Darien audience. The show started off with a bang with “Dancing with Myself” and “Flesh for Fantasy.” Then Idol mixed up the set some. He played a few new songs and one being “Ghost of my Guitar.” I really dug this tune and he dedicated to the memory of his late father. Stevens is one of my favorite guitarists, but I think it was unnecessary to have him deliver 3 separate solos. “Mony Mony,” “Rock the Cradle of Love” or “Hot in the City” could have been better choices to add in. With an hour and 15-minute set, Idol should have done a better job balancing that given the amount of time they had to play. Other than that, Idol and his band still got the goods, that is for sure!
Next up was Bryan Adams. Adams could be considered one of the biggest Canadian musical artists of all time. Selling around 100 million albums, Adams has already left an indelible mark on music. He is currently is on tour supporting his 14th studio effort titled “Shine a Light.” It should be noted Adams teamed up with DHL for an environmental project to plant a tree for every ticket sold during this current tour. This was my fist time taking taking Adams in so I was curious to see what he would deliver.
Adams and his band kicked off with the hit track “Somebody.” Adams went back and forth between playing an acoustic and electric guitar all evening. Even though Adams is on tour in support of his latest album, the set was mostly dedicated to his classic hits. The only track that was new was the title track “Shine a Light,” which had the entire audience hold up their cell phones during the chorus. Adams voice was impeccable. This was my first time taking in the Canadian legend and I must say, I was very impressed. He has a solid lead guitarist in Keith Scott who handled most of the leads for the evening’s performance. The entire venue was singing along to “Summer of ’69.” It was the highlight of the set for sure.
Adams gave the fans everything they could have hoped for and then some. A great setlist & a solid musical performance went over a long way and it made it worth the wait !
Bryan Adams setlist:
Kids Wanna Rock
Can’t Stop This Thing We Started
Run to You
Shine a Light
C’mon Everybody (Eddie Cochran cover)
It’s Only Love
You Belong to Me
Summer of ‘69
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
Cuts Like a Knife
Straight from the Heart
All for Love (Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & sting song)
Billy Idol setlist:
Dancing With Myself (Generation X song)
Flesh for Fantasy
L.A. Woman (The Doors cover)
Ghosts in my Guitar
Eyes Without a Face
Soul Standing By
Your Generation (Generation X song)
Ready Steady Go (Generation X song)
We would like to thank Tim Kochan from Livenation for the credentials to review the show.