By Allan Jones

NORMALLY when gigs are advertised as sold out there are always a few empty seats dotted around the arena and in the restricted view sections, but on Friday night the BIC was definitely packed to the rafters for the arrival of Bryan Adams.

Straight into Do What You Gotta Do from his latest album Get Up quickly followed by Can't Stop This Thing and She's Only Happy the crowd was immediately right behind the Canadian superstar and his band.

Despite the fact that just about everyone in the world knows his ballad Everything I Do he is definitely at his best when it is Bryan Adams the rocker on stage, especially when paired with long time collaborator Keith Scott on guitar, and pretty early on in the gig we were treated to a section of those classic songs.

Run To You, Heaven, Kids Wanna Rock, It's Only Love, This Time and crowd favourite Summer of 69 all followed in rapid succession before it was time to take a breath with a solo acoustic version of the Mel C collaboration When You’re Gone before the band joined him for Everything I Do (I Do It For You) which predictably received one of the biggest reactions of the night.

By this point we were about an hour into the gig and it had been pretty much non-stop hit after hit with the odd foray into the newer material so it was about time for a bit of audience interaction.

When Bryan then asked if there were any wild women in the audience who wanted to dance with him he would probably have been crushed in the rush of women trampling their boyfriends and husbands underfoot if it weren't for security and the barriers.

After some confusion a suitable lady was found and performed pretty well dancing along to If You Wanna Be Bad.

After a rousing version of Somebody another acoustic session followed with some audience requests that resulted in an unscheduled Please Forgive Me followed by Cuts Like A Knife and 18 Till I Die and main set closer The Only Thing.

Returning with the band for an encore of Brand New Day and C’mon Everybody he then remained on stage to close the show with solo acoustic versions of She Knows Me, Straight From The Heart and All For Love which held the audience enthralled right to the last note.

For me the strength of a show like this is not in the hits from twenty or thirty years ago, because you know they are going to go down a storm.

It’s in the crowd’s reaction to the new material. Don't get me wrong, he played a lot of his hits and if he hadn't the crowd would have left disappointed, but there was just enough newer stuff to keep this from being a greatest hits tour.

A great night of good old fashioned rock music that everyone absolutely loved.