On Air Now
The Smooth Late Show with Danny Pietroni 10pm - 1am
8 November 2021, 16:40
After his 1996 album 18 til I die reached No.1 in the charts, Bryan Adams' popularity in the UK reached fever pitch.
Only a few years before the Canadian singer-songwriter blew numerous records out of the water with the release of 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)'.
As we now know, the song hit No.1 in the UK and stayed there for 18 weeks, becoming one of the most successful singles of all time.
But the best was yet to come, when he performed at Wembley Stadium in 1996 to a sold-out 70,000 capacity crowd.
Bryan Adams - Summer of 69 (Live At Wembley 1996)
Opening with 18 til I die's lead single 'The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You', it whipped the Wembley masses into a frenzy from the get-go.
And the following two-hour set would take a trip throughout Adams' entire career, playing the vast number of hit singles that put him on the Wembley Stadium stage to begin with.
But it was the ballads that truly resonated with crowd, which are arguably the strong-point of the Canadian's musicianship despite being a self-styled rocker.
The powerful Grammy-nominated song 'All For Love' Adams recorded with Sting and Rod Stewart started a sing-a-long, and the iconic performance concluded with 'Heaven' as the encore despite 'Please Forgive Me' not making the cut.
But it was (yep, you guessed) his epic performance of 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)' that solidified Bryan Adams as a modern great.
Bryan Adams - Everything I Do (Live At Wembley 1996)
It was a moment of relative calm in a riotous stadium show, that felt more intimate than the surrounds would have you believe.
That's after the initial screams from the adoring crowd, that is, when he sang in the opening words a capella with his trademark growl.
Unsheathing his guitar, Adams approaches each corner of his stage clenching just a microphone with the crowd doing their utmost to sing alongside him with their lighters and arms held aloft.
His band then softly begin to back his vocal, which eventually swelled into a truly astonishing 7-minute performance of the Canadian icon's most beloved single.
During the rendition, he broke every heart in the stadium. Every 70,000 of them. It was a cathartic outpouring of emotion and joy which saw the crowd swaying and swooning at Adams' every move.
Bryan Adams - Heaven (Live At Wembley 1996)
Looking back at his landmark Wembley Stadium show in a 2016 interview, Adams said with his typical humility that it was just "the culmination of a lot of years and a lot of songs."
"18 til I die was No. 1 one in England. There had been two or three other albums in the previous years that had done really well, so it was all leading up to something. It just happened that it led to Wembley." he went on to say.
“I might forget my lyrics - but I never forget where I started."
Despite it being a major stadium show, Adams brought the energy and enthusiasm of his grassroots gig venue playing days, having a built a reputation for sounding even better live than his recordings.
As an indication of the connection he creates with his fans and crowd whilst performing, he even forgot that the performance was filmed on camera.
“I didn’t actually recall that I’d filmed it,” Adams admitted. “I kept getting fans writing to me saying, ‘When’s the film coming out for Wembley?’ And I was like, ‘What film? There’s no film!’"
"Then I remembered that we had recorded it live for radio. I was looking at one of the CDs that was released at the time a few years ago and saw that there were some live tracks and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right, we did record the show for radio.’"
The concert was later released on DVD as Wembley Live 1996, Bryan Adams.