Cuts Like a Knife

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AP Newsline: Santa Barbara California

Is there a singer/songwriter who gets more out of a Gadd9, Cadd9, D and a capo than Bryan Adams? The short answer is no.

Mrs McCoy and I had the pleasure of bumping into Bryan Adams on the west coast in Santa Barbara. The “Bare Bones” Tour hit the Granada Theater on State St. – a 1,500 seat venue that was essentially sold out. Very cool theater and a very cool show. Bryan on acoustic guitar and harmonica and his bandmate “Gary” on piano. Two monitors, 5 light stands and some very excited 40/50 year old females, but more on that later*.

The tour has been about two years on the road so far and is soon to head to South Africa.

The voice? He still has it. That voice that delivered “Run to You”, “Cuts like a Knife” and “Summer of ’69” back when MTV actually played videos was still there. At 50 years of age, he still has that amazing voice. He is a singer/songwriter in his prime – 16 albums, 60 million records sold, 15 grammy nominations and 3 Academy Award nominations. If the tour is coming to you [click here to find out], do yourself a favor and grab a ticket. Probably one of the better shows I’ve seen this year.



*There is a breed of cougar heretofore yet undocumented by anthropologists and it lives in Santa Barbara California. As the wife and I walked into the show we noticed pairs of 40-50 year old women walking into the Granada Theater. They didn’t travel individually, but rather in packs of two and occasionally three.  They paced and stalked the bar area before the show as they downed small plastic cups of chardonay and merlot. They seemed restless, even agitated as they took their seats. But the howl that erupted from the pack as Bryan Adams took the stage sent a chill up my married spine.

It was a deep throaty howl that years ago might have fit on the soundtrack to a Girls Gone Wild video, but after decades of Virginia Slims and Marlboro Lights coupled with vocal chords marinated in a thick sheen of Jaegermeister shots and Tequila Shooters drained during Journey’s “Escape” tour, their voices sent up a deeper, more gravely howl that came from the pits of their Jordache Jeans…….




Poor Bryan couldn’t even get a word in edge-wise between songs as the Cougar’s screamed song names at him. He did his best to stick with his set list which was a perfect mix of old and new, but the Cougar’s would have nothing of it. Not until he played “Summer of ’69”.

Some say 666 is the numer of the beast. I’d disagree. The number of the beast I witnessed in action last night was ’69. The Summer of, to be specific. Once the opening chords to that early Adams anthem sprang from the mains, the Cougars seemed to quite – a little. He was the Pied Piper to the aging Cougar-rats of the audience as he sang of his first real 6-string from the 5 and dime.

The screams continued through the remainder of the show. Security did their best to subdue and contain the cougars, but their tasers and cattle prods seemed to have little effect. The only thing on their feline radar was Bryan. All 50 years of him [and he didn’t look a day over 35].

We left before the encore as we had an early flight bck to the midwest out of LAX. I don’t know if he escaped. If he did, and if he’s coming to a venue near you. Check it out. Worth every penny…..

-Elvis McCoy

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