Bryan Adams fans gear up for big show

Canadian music icon performs in Trail Monday at Charles Bailey Theatre.

Bryan Adams’ “Bares Bones” acoustic concert is set to rock Trail Monday and the anticipation continues to rise in a community that had fans lining up to purchase tickets just after 4 a.m. when tickets were released this winter.

Fruitvale’s Loren Koerber laughed when her sister-in-law Irene Haas suggested they (along with friend Sandy Ravestein) meet up at that hour Dec. 1 when the tickets went on sale. But it turned out she couldn’t sleep anyways.

Armed with lawn chairs, blankets, snacks and, of course, coffee, the three sat it out until doors opened at 10 a.m., watching as the line grew down the street and around the corner of the Greater Trail Community Centre that houses the Charles Bailey Theatre.

“I don’t see too many things in my life but to me he ranks up there with the Eagles,” said Koerber. “Bands like the Eagles, Aerosmith and Bryan Adams, they are bands that are timeless, you’ll listen to them forever and their music never gets old.”

Adams is one of the world’s most highly acclaimed musicians whose career has spanned more than three decades.

Constantly in demand, the celebrated rocker is on the road over 120 days a year playing rock n’ roll favourites (“Summer of 69“, “Run To You”, “18 ‘Til I Die”, “It’s Only Love”, “Somebody”, “The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You”) to sold out audiences on six continents.

Koerber said she would have lined up at 2 a.m. if it meant securing the second row back, smack in the middle tickets she scored.

Most buyers showed up to purchase their tickets in person, rather than taking their chances on an over-the-phone purchase that could have ended in a busy signal, according to theatre manager Mark Daines of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

He first met Adams as an 18 year old working security for his dressing room back in 1982 during the “You Want It, You Got It” tour in his hometown Kingston, Ont.

“Of course at first I was in disbelief that a big star such as Bryan Adams would come to Trail to play in a 700-seat venue, but hey if Kurt Russell came here to shoot the movie ‘The Miracle,’ then I guess anything is possible,” he said.

Adams was unavailable for an interview Thursday but his tour manager spokesperson managed to find out just why Trail was a good  fit.

“With the full band rock shows either the routing or the venue size has not worked in our favour,” Adams was quoted via email. “But with the intimate acoustic tour, the Charles Bailey Theatre was a perfect fit.”

The response shows the potential of the theatre and market, said Daines, who said the show ($105 for a ticket) has raised the bar in terms of what the market is willing to pay for entertainment.

EZ Rock radio personality Wayne Kelly said he drove by before starting his early shift that morning and saw four people standing in front of the door. The first person arrived at 4:30 a.m., according to the local radio station that tracked attendance throughout its morning show.

“In this day and age of instant Internet sellouts . . . it was like we went back in time to actually have to line up if we wanted to go,” he said. “You know every person who will be at that show worked hard to get a ticket!”

Tickets sold out in a record time of four hours, said Daines. He attributes this to the market demographic and demand, noting that Gordon Lightfoot is set to perform in Trail this October and though tickets went on sale last month, there are still just over 650 left.

Other highly successful performers that have made a point to coming to Trail include Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Colin James, Natalie McMaster, Jan Arden, Rita McNeil, Randy Bachman and comedian Ron James.

Daines sees smaller venue shows as a new trend for performers who’ve already travelled the world, stopping in large centres, and are looking to come “full circle and return to their roots.”

“In terms of future prospects, just convincing the bigger national promoters to take a risk on smaller remote venues is a big first step,” he added.

Debra Barembruch, part owner of Amore’s Ristorante in Trail, is trying to do some convincing on her end, too.

The restaurant in the Gulch is open Monday for a concert wind-up dinner that includes a three-course meal featuring ossobuco, a specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth.

The Canadian icon’s voice will already be heard in the background but the hope is that he’ll actually stop in for some Trail hospitality.

“We’ll be playing his music and I’m attempting to get him to pop in,” she said. “I haven’t got confirmation yet but I’ve got a few strings that are being pulled so hopefully that will happen and at some point he’ll be able to pop in before he goes down to the concert.”

Koerber and her enthusiastic gang look to make reservations at the restaurant that is already filling up fast.

Her heart was stolen by Adams early on when he won her over not only with his voice but his lyrics.

“I love musicians who can not only sing but they’re songwriters, too,” she said. “I just love his music.

“When I was growing up in the teenage years . . .  you know songs like ‘Summer of 69’ were just perfect songs that fit.”