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Bryan Adams - 'Wembley Live 1996' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0a/13/ca/bryan-adams-wembley-1996-live-38-1520631702.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 09, 2018    
 
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A great opportunity to experience one of the world's greatest live performers in his element and at his very best.

Back in issue #77*, I covered Bryan Adams latest live DVD and now I find myself with the opportunity to review the 2CD version of the same show. To recap for those that missed the previous write-up, this is an audio version of Adams' Wembley Stadium gig on 27th July 1996 when he was touring to support '18 'Til I Die'. I feel it only appropriate to also restate, for perspective, that I was actually at this show (and Huddersfield a few days earlier) and that it remains one of my favourite Adams gigs from the multitude I've attended.

This two disc version is made up of the same twenty-four tracks (twelve on each disc) that appeared on the DVD and therefore features the full two hours plus show without any omissions. It remains a sentimental favourite gig not only because it was a great day overall, with a highly memorable and excellent performance, but because it was also the last time I saw the classic five-piece band of Adams, Keith Scott (lead guitar), Mickey Curry (drums), Dave Taylor (bass) and Tommy Mandel (keyboards) – with assistance from Danny Cummings on percussion – perform together.

The set-list that night was a great mixture of classic eighties hits and more recent songs. From the later material, there were seven selections from '...Die' and four from the massive 'Waking Up The Neighbours' record. These include 'The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You', 'Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?', '18 'Til I Die', 'Let's Make A Night To Remember', 'Can't Stop This Thing We Started', 'Touch The Hand' (one I wish he still played often), 'There Will Never Be Another Tonight' and (of course) the record-breaking '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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For the long-term fans, there was also plenty of classics like 'Kids Wanna Rock', 'This Time', 'Cuts Like A Knife', 'It's Only Love' (an excellent version featuring a duet with touring partner Melissa Etheridge), 'Somebody', 'Run To You', 'She's Only Happy When She's Dancin'', 'Summer Of 69' and closer 'Heaven'.

As someone who was actually there, I have to say this live double disc release genuinely captures that wonderful night. From a technical aspect, this version sounds as good as the DVD, and while neither quite reaches the standard of more recent live offerings, it is as good as could be expected given it's from twenty years ago. The audience has been kept high in the mix and that is only right when you remember that crowd participation is an integral part of any Adams show.

Given it features so many eighties favourites, I'm guessing some enthusiasts may still consider 1988's 'Live, Live, Live' to be his best live record, but for this long time Bryan Adams fan, the quality of the performance and the sheer number of great songs means this just sneaks it as his best for me. I've always preferred live albums to live DVDs, but if could only own only one of the two, I would opt for the DVD but that is simply because I was there. That personally specific preference aside, this really is a fantastic live double album and a great opportunity to experience one of the world's greatest live performers in his element and at his very best.

Dave Scott

(* of Fireworks Magazine)

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