Words by Ava Sumortin
Filipinos love power ballads. And we love Bryan Adams's hits. On January 18, Bryan Adams performed in front of the Manila crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This was his third time in Manila.
Adams and his band started the thirty-song set with "Do What You Gotta Do." It was a night filled with his classic hits and songs from his new album. He continued with "Can't Stop This Thing We Started," "Don't Even Try," and "Run to You." He told the audience that he remembers his shows in Manila even though his last visit was more than twenty years ago. His next song "Go Down Rockin'" shows just how accomplished he is as a performer. He wore a black blazer and a crisp white shirt that night (not a leather jacket), but he still has that rock star vibe on stage.
When the first few notes of "Heaven" played, the crowd cheered and sang along to the song. Adams even held his mic stand up in the air to motivate the audience to sing even louder. The guitar solo for this song was flawless. After the ballad, Adams and the band kicked it up a notch with "Kids Wanna Rock," "It's Only Love," "This Time," and You Belong to Me." The anthem, "Summer of '69," was next on the list, and everyone got on their feet. Fans sang along to the song, and I had a feeling that they also recalled their memories connected to this song.
After the high-energy set, it was time to slow down and go acoustic. For "Here I Am," "Let's Make a Night to Remember," and "When You're Gone," Adams got his acoustic guitar and played solo for the Filipinos.
The band came back on stage, and Adams introduced the next hit as "the most requested song on tour." You could probably guess what it was. The classic ballad "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" started playing and the fans turned their flashlights on. The Smart Araneta Coliseum lit up. Adams made it clear that he loves it when the audience sings, and Manila didn't disappoint.
For "If Ya Wanna Be Bad - Ya Gotta Be Good," Adams searched the crowd for a "wild woman" to dance to the song and share the spotlight with him. Next on his set list was "Back to You" and "Somebody." For the visuals for "Somebody," they asked their fans to send headshots before the tour began. They used these photos for the background of this song, and it was an impressive sight.
The best way to perform "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" is with a Spanish guitar, and that's exactly what they did. Then, Adams sang "Please Forgive Me." These are classics, and we all remembered why that night.
Guitar-heavy songs "Cuts Like a Knife," "18 Til I Die," and "The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You" finished up the set list. From ballads to rock and roll hits, Adams can perform all kinds of songs. And that is why, ladies and gentlemen, his songs will always a part of us.
The encore started with "Brand New Day" and "C'mon Everybody." Adams also performed the Elvis classic "All Shook Up." The band exited the stage, and it was Adams who finished the encore with three more songs. The first acoustic performance was "She Knows Me," which felt very intimate even though the coliseum was full. Adams also played the harmonica while he strummed his guitar for "Straight from the Heart."
His last song, "All for Love," he asked the audience to turn their flashlights on. The crowd was happy to oblige, and they sang beautifully with Adams. It was the perfect ending.
Adams made sure that January 18 was a night to remember for his fans in Manila.