Despite overmatched ushers futilely policing inane "no photo" signage with lights that proved far more annoying than those shone by the many attendees who DID take photos, the intimate setting allowed for great access to a talented, veteran performer.
During an aside shared after "Back to You," Adams revealed that the first ideas for this tour developed shortly after his positive 1997 "MTV Unplugged" experience from which "You" was culled. Adams said that he enjoyed performing his songs in a manner that closely reflected their original conception: not as the bombastic stadium anthems that we eighties children hold dear, but as "bare bones" - acoustic guitars, harmonica, piano - pieces.
By restoring the hit-heavy setlist to demo punch (minus the Mutt Lange-era gloss), Adams showed that his voice is still in as fine form as the songs remain. Trimmed choruses and reworked arrangements added luster to classics like "Run To You" and especially "Heat of the Night." A speedy stagehand saved the lone gaffe, Adams' toppling of the mic while thumping on it for bass, without missing a lyric.
I will cement my "Thank You, Bryan!" by purchasing the Bare Bones album when it drops in November.
[Author's note: This is my review of his 9/21/10 tour stop at Spreckels in San Diego. Sad to see that "Heat of the Night," "Back To You" and "Do I Have To Say the Words?" did not make the final track listing, but hopefully the future will yield a longer version of Bare Bones that includes those songs.]