Saturday Music Memories – Did You Take A Rain Jacket?
When you think about successful Canadian musicians over the last 30 years, it is hard not to include Bryan Adams in the conversation. I have loved his music since I heard it for the first time in 1983 or 1984. His live shows are incredible, and his enthusiasm and love for his fans are well documented. I had the extreme pleasure of seeing him perform in a smaller venue a few years ago. It was him, his guitar and a guy on the grand piano. That is the style of performance which separates the true performers from the wanna-bees. No technology to hide behind; just the instruments and vocals – Incredible.
What I really wanted to talk about was a late summer day in Winnipeg, Canada back in August of 1992. Bryan Adams was on the top of his game, and he rolled through town for a day festival which featured The Steve Miller Band, Extreme, Honeymoon Suite and Sass Jordan.
My friend and I planned to be there very early that day, and the forecast was cloudy with a good chance of showers. I will never forget walking out the door with a light jacket and my dad asking, “Maybe you should take a rain jacket?”
“Nah dad, I am ok”, I responded. “Those are not rain clouds”.
Well I was wrong, dead wrong. And within a half hour of arriving on the concert site at Birds Hill Park near Winnipeg, it started to rain. It seemed to rain all day, and rarely stopped. Many of us were not dressed for the weather, and absolutely soaked. But none of us dared to leave.
The other bands were incredible, and the vibe was fantastic, but we were all there really for one reason – Adams.
When he finally came out, he did an incredible live version of House Arrest. This is a newer live version that I pulled off his YouTube channel.
Unfortunately he was never able to finish the concert because of the weather – but he still played for a long time. I remember his stage hands basically having to pull him away from the microphone because he did not want to leave. That is a sign of a true performer committed to his fans. But it was getting dangerous up there.
Whenever somebody in my family has gone to an outdoor event for the last 20 years and does not take proper clothing to be ready for inclement weather, we always say,
“Remember Bryan Adams”.
Nothing else needs to be said. We just know what it means!
Posted on July 28, 2012, in Saturday Music Memories and tagged Birds Hill Park, Bryan Adams, Extreme, House Arrest, Music, Music Festival, Song, Steve Miller Band, Winnipeg. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
Hi Tim, great story and song. It is about the things we learn along the way that make our lives richer.
My dad reminds me every time I see him. In fact he is visiting right now 🙂 Have a great Saturday Tina!
I was one of those people who stood out in the pouring rain for Bryan’s show that night. I too will never forget it. A friend and I went from the west side of the province in to Winnipeg to go to the show. We travelled in Friday and stayed at a hotel overnight. As the time grew near to go out to Bird’s Hill Park we were wondering how this was going to turn out as we did not have any rain gear either, and by that time there was not a raincoat or boots left in the city to purchase. We got some leaf-sized clear plastic garbage bags and cut a hole for the head and holes to put your arms through and headed on out. It was dark, it was pouring rain but we could hear the music so headed from the parking lot into the abyss! We had only sneakers on which became soaked immediately, but we did not care! It was one of the greatest experiences of my life to hear him live. The harder he sang, the harder it poured! The crowd was oblivious to the pouring rain – we were singing our lungs out along with him! I remember seeing the stage manager trying to get him to stop but he kept coming back out. I remember seeing parts of the stage covering flapping wildly as the wind got stronger and stronger. Finally he had to listen to the stage manager and apologized for having to quit. I was amazed they had not all been electrocuted! We headed back to the car, shivering and soggy, but in a sort of blissful state. What a night to remember!
Wow! Great story Betty. That really resonated with me. I can still remember being at that concert vividly too. Will write more later. Thanks for stopping by with such a detailed response. 🙂
This is one of those concerts I still tell stories about to this day. I had caught a ride to the concert with my brother, but towards the end of it the weather was getting too much for him so he was going to head back into the city and asked if I could catch a ride back with one of our friends, since I wanted to stay. Sass Jordan had been swearing like a sailor (positive swearing), people were sliding in the mud. Despite the weather it was the most fun concert I’d ever been to and wasn’t about to leave. I remember being blown away by Bryan’s dedication to all of us shivering fans who as he had said at the time had “been out here for 8 hours and I’m going to give them a show.” In the darkness as the concert eventually shut down (stage falling apart. as Betty mentioned) I completely lost track of my friends, and a search of the parking area was pointless in the blinding glare of headlights in the rain. The police directing traffic weren’t much help for lost souls such as myself either instructing a couple wandering ahead of me to try the shuttle busses at the other end of the road. I quickly tramped down the increasingly muddy road until I saw a school bus, stuck in the mud of a parking area to the side. I knocked on the door of the bus. The door opened revealing an interior lit by a multitude of candles and a cool goth couple (truth is, they had me a little freaked at the time). They said they would give me a ride if I could help get them out of the mud. I went back to the road and enlisted the help of a few more stragglers. It was fruitless though. The bus was stuck, and it wasn’t the shuttle so I abandoned the group to continue my search while pointing a tow truck in the buses direction. I eventually managed to sneak my way onto a double decker shuttle bus, despite the drivers screening for legit passengers, and got myself back into the city. Best concert ever, totally worth the post concert drama.
Wow thanks for the detailed response! I will never ever forget that concert. Great fun other than I almost froze. Awesome memories for sure 🙂