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Bryan Adams: Summer of 69 turned to Gale Force 9 during legendary Montrose gig

bryan adams to play aberdeen
Canadian rock legend Bryan Adams took Montrose fans on a trip down memory lane back in 2016.

Canadian rock legend Bryan Adams was almost blown off stage when he performed an open-air gig in Montrose in August 2016.

But the raspy-voiced singer still hailed “windy Montrose” as one of his best gigs as the Summer of 69 turned to Gale Force 9 on East Links.

Eager fans bought nearly 5,000 tickets in the first hour of them going on sale for the Montrose gig which was part of his Get Up tour of the UK.

The crowd at the front of the stage when Canadian rock giant Bryan Adams kicked off his set back in 2016.

Speaking before the concert, Adams said: “I’m really enjoying my tour and am looking forward to heading up to Montrose for my only Scottish outdoor show.

“People can expect two hours of music, and the crowds in Scotland are fantastic.”

Gig was in doubt

High winds throughout the afternoon put the open-air gig in serious doubt but Adams shrugged off the elements and delivered an epic performance.

Some fans had trouble hearing parts of the tour-de-force performance during the wind gusts as he blasted out the biggest hits from his 13-album catalogue.

Adams gripped his microphone stand and even pretended to be blown away while playing up to the crowd during Can’t Stop This Thing We Started.

Adams packed all his stadium-filling anthems into his two-hour show including Cuts Like A Knife, Heaven, Kids Wanna Rock and 18 Til I Die.

Do What Ya Gotta Do, Don’t Even Try and You Belong To Me were the highlights from the Get Up album but the biggest cheers of the night were reserved for signature tunes Summer of 69, Run To You, Please Forgive Me and (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.

At the front of the 12,000-strong crowd was Bryan Adams mega-fan Clair Barnett from Montrose who has the Canadian singer’s signature tattooed across her stomach.

Bryan Adams on stage at MoFest when he delivered a blistering set against the elements.

Clair has spent thousands following Bryan across the UK and Europe after falling in love with his music in 1996 when she bought his album 18 Til I Die.

The thought of Adams playing anywhere in Montrose but through a pub jukebox would have been insane before a small group of locals put the town on the music map.

First MoFest in 2008

They were unhappy with the live music scene and organised the first MoFest in 2008 where Scottish funk heroes Average White Band were the headline act.

MoFest linked up with concert promoter LCC Live in 2013 and suddenly the likes of Status Quo, Jools Holland and Madness were performing in Angus.

The festival appeared to be riding on the crest of a wave after Adams’ performance when the Beach Boys were announced as headliners for the 2017 festival.

But it quickly became a victim of its own success which brought with it spiralling costs.

MoFest bosses issued a rallying call to help ensure its survival beyond 2017 which was backed by Adams who urged fans to join the fundraising drive.

Adams rated the gig at windy Montrose as one of the best of his summer.

The festival was said to be “hugely at risk” of not returning in 2018 unless organisers could generate more money to pay the bills.

Adams said at the time: “I enjoyed windy Montrose immensely last year.

“The MoFest show was one of my favourites of last summer.

“I hope the festival will continue for many years to come.”

The end was nigh

Thousands of pounds were raised and the Beach Boys turned up from California in May 2017 and brought their feel-good songs to the East Links.

The Beach Boys live on stage back in 2017 at Montrose East Links.

But the question on everyone’s lips was would it return next year?

The festival limped on but the BBC’s Biggest Weekend in Perth being scheduled on the same date as the 2018 MoFest didn’t help.

Bands just weren’t willing to compete with the BBC and just a few hundred people turned out to watch The Hoosiers deliver a headline set at Montrose Town Hall.

Music fans feared the worst when MoFest pulled the plug on 2019 due to a lack of volunteers but promised to “step back, regroup and come back stronger in 2020”.

Was the fat lady clearing her throat?

The Hoosiers on stage at Montrose Town Hall in May 2018.

Just days later LCC Live announced it would bring platinum-selling artist Jess Glynne to perform at the inaugural Live at the Links to plug the gap.

The 2019 summer event also featured the Kaiser Chiefs and Madness and was the largest weekend event in Scotland outside of Glasgow’s TRNSMT Festival.

MoFest was quietly killed off.

LCC Live director Les Kidger then said Live at the Links would become a permanent fixture on the Angus music calendar and take place biennially.

Liam and Noel reunited?

He asked Montrose fans to draw up a 2021 wish-list and AC/DC and Oasis getting back together for a reunion on the East Links were among the most popular.

The pandemic put the brakes on major festivals during 2020 and 2021 but who might perform on the town’s East Links when things get back to normal?

Adams performed for two hours to send the Montrose crowd home happy despite a blustery evening on the East Links.

Stevie Wonder?

Speaking in 2016, before Bryan Adams appearance, Mr Kidger said: “I’ve always wanted to promote two acts – Bryan Adams and Stevie Wonder.

“I’d tried to get Bryan Adams for five years before we got him.

“Once he plays here that will take us to another league – he’s a world-class artist.

“To land Bryan Adams was a major coup for us.

“The other name on the bucket list is Stevie Wonder.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to get him to Montrose but that’s the dream.”

Pipe dream?

Who knows?

But those of us who witnessed global superstar Bryan Adams battling the North Sea elements back in 2016 will know that anything is possible.

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