BY MIKE SHALER | Go Venue Magazine
August 7th 2019 was a 1980’s rock music fans dream come true as Billy Idol and Bryan Adams made a stop on their tour together at DTE Energy Music Theatre. With just eight shows together on this tour, fans flocked to Clarkston, Michigan to relive memories of when Idol and Adams dominated the radio and MTV throughout the 80’s with tons of hits.
Billy Idol kicked off the show with high energy driven rock and roll. With the iconic spiky blonde hair and fist pumps, Billy was in excellent form as the crowd reacted with joy. With Stephen McGrath on bass guitar, Billy Morrison on guitar, Erik Eldenius on drums and Paul Trudeau on keyboards and guitar along with longtime fellow guitarist and songwriting collaborator, Steve Stevens leading the band through a bevy of hits that included “Dancing With Myself”, “Flesh For Fantasy”, “Eyes Without A Face”, “Ready Steady Go”, “Blue Highway”, “Rebel Yell” and “White Wedding” to rattle off a few.
Steve displayed his guitar wizardry throughout the night with a few guitar solos, the fans got highly involved as Steve would riff faster and faster until the fans could keep up no more but would boisterously applause when Steve finished his solos. Early on when Steve first walked on stage, I noticed a Blonde figurine on an amp that Steve would pause to admire. I wondered if it was the likeness of his wife Josie, so I asked her. Josie said they got the figurine while on tour in New Orleans at Marie Laveau’s. It’s actually a statue of a famous exotic dancer but since it looks so much like Josie, Steve bought it and kept it on his amp ever since. I thought that was interesting how he admired that figurine, makes even more sense now that I know why.
Billy is a nonstop performer as he had the crowd enthused by his energy as he interacted with the fans and his bandmates. The smiles on everybody’s faces were evident that this band loves what they are doing. As the music riffed, I noticed a fan up front had a vinyl album they were waving around to Billy, without hesitation, Billy pulls out a marker from his pants and signs the album, he did this a couple other times through the show as well. That was an awesome sight to see, Billy knows how to please his fans. A touch of sweetness, a dash of perversion and a whole lotta rock n roll, Billy Idol is the real deal when it comes to high energy rock concerts.
As the sun started to fade away, the musical hits kept on coming as Bryan Adams took the stage with his band as they cranked out the crowd-pleasing song “Somebody”. Bryan is a master of the ballads and that was quite evident during certain songs when the crowd was singing so loud and in unison, that Bryan just stepped aside from the mic and let the crowd sing. I have to imagine as a musician and song writer, there’s got to be no better feeling when you perform when the crowd is singing your songs. That is a testament of great achievement.
Looking around the venue and seeing all the lights shining as “Shine A Light” (a new song that is also the name of his latest album released in March this year) was played is another one of those cool concert experiences. Everybody is in the moment and just having fun. The fun rolled on with songs like “Run To You”, “Heaven”, Summer Of ‘69”, “Cuts Like A Knife”, “Straight From The Heart” and “All For Love”. The memories of listening to my radio back in the 80’s when I was a young kid came flooding back. Such great times and what a treat to relive that as Bryan Adams performed live.
With longtime guitarist, Keith Scott and drummer Mickey Curry alongside Solomon Walker on bass and Gary Breit on keyboards, The Dudes of Leisure were on point with the classic and iconic songs.
Billy Idol stepped back onstage to perform a song with Bryan as they did a cover of Eddie Cochran’s, “C’mon Everybody”. Everybody got dancing once again as these two musical powerhouses sang away.
I don’t know how this tour happened, but for someone who grew up in the 80’s, this sure made me one happy dude to be able to attend and witness the awesome talent of both of these bands. And the packed venue full of fans would probably agree with me, this was one fantastic evening of live music.