Bryan Adams - lead vocals, guitar; Keith Scott - lead guitars, vocals; Dave Taylor - bass; Johnny 'Blitz' Hannah - keyboards; Pat Steward - drums
To raise awareness of human rights issues and to honor the 25th anniversary of Amnesty International, an impressive roster of musicians banded together in June of 1986. Billed as "A Conspiracy Of Hope," the tour hit six American cities and through press conferences, media events and the actual concerts, the artists directly engaged listeners on the issues of human dignity and human rights, inviting a new generation to take action to free prisoners of conscience throughout the world. The tour featured U2, Sting and Bryan Adams (presented here) headlining the bill, with Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, The Neville Brothers and Joan Baez in the supporting slots.
The final concert of the tour took place at Giants stadium before a sold-out audience of 70,000 and greatly expanded the performing lineup. This event became a 12 hour marathon running from noon until nearly midnight and would be simulcast globally on MTV and the Westwood One radio network. For this major media event, celebrities and leaders of the entertainment industry joined the musicians, appearing on camera in public service announcements and several, including Bill Graham, Darryl Hannah, Robert DeNiro, Bill Bradley, Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox, and Muhammed Ali all appeared on stage to announce the performers. In addition to the aforementioned headliners and support acts, for this final concert, additional performers included John Eddie with Max Weinberg, Third World, The Hooters, Peter Paul & Mary, Little Steven with Bob Geldof, Stanley Jordan, Joan Armatrading, Jackson Browne, Rubén Blades, Yoko Ono, Howard Jones, Miles Davis, and Joni Mitchell. Carlos Santana also sat in on several sets (including The Neville Brothers, Ruben Blades and Miles Davis' sets) and the night was capped off with a highly anticipated reunion set by The Police.
Presented here is Bryan Adams hit packed performance from this memorable night. Adams had participated in a variety of charitable activities to help raise money and awareness, including the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia the previous year, but his performances on the 1986 Conspiracy Of Hope Tour captured Adams at a peak moment of his career.
Canada's most popular musical export during this time, Adams would be nominated for an astounding 56 Juno Award nominations and 15 Grammy nominations during this era. Awarded the Junos' Male Vocalist of The Year beginning in 1983, he would repeat that win for the next four consecutive years in a row. His 1983 album, Cuts Like A Knife would contain the beginnings of a long string of chart topping singles and the follow-up, 1984's Reckless album would catapult his career into the stratosphere on a global level.
Adams' set on this night not surprisingly emphasizes material from the Reckless album, when it was fresh and new, with two choice older hits included for good measure. His set kicks off with "Run To You," the lead off single from Reckless. Actually an older song, written by an 18 year old Adams and his songwriting partner Jim Vallance back in the late 1970s, this would soon become one of Adams most popular songs. Straightforward guitar driven pop, with a thundering chorus, this performance makes it obvious what made Adams so successful during this era.
Another gem from Reckless follows in the form of "It's Only Love." The sixth and final single from the album, originally recorded as a duet with Tina Turner, this performance lacks the duet dynamic, but retains much of the energy of the original. Adams vocals have never been stronger and the song provides ample space for lead guitarist Keith Scott to flex his muscles.
Next up is the rock ballad, "Straight From The Heart," a key number from his previous album, which began Adams' long string of Top Ten hits. Here Adams foregoes playing guitar to concentrate on a passionate vocal delivery. Strapping his guitar back on, this is followed by "Tonight" from his 1981 album, You Want It, You Got It. Both of these older songs are well presented here, with the latter number particularly fun to hear from Adams own voice, as many will be more familiar with former Eagle guitarist Randy Meisner's cover version.
Another great up-tempo rock anthem from Reckless and the albums' sweetest pop confection conclude the set as Adams delivers standout performances of "Summer Of '69," which immediately elicits cheers of recognition and has the 70,000 strong audiences singing along and "Somebody" back to back. Accompanied by what many consider to be the strongest configuration of The Dudes Of Leisure (AKA Adams backing band), this performance on the final night of The Conspiracy Of Hope Tour perfectly encapsulates Bryan Adams' strengths as a singer, songwriter and bandleader.
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